Monday, August 13, 2012

The wisdom of a midshipman's prayer…

If you've never had the startlingly moving experience of enjoying a service in the chapel on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, put it on your bucket list. The building and its interior are an unforgettable milieu, and if you go there, you may feel, as I did, submerged in its history and the enduring sense of honorable duty it inspires and represents.

I thankfully took away this excerpt from "A Midshipman's Prayer," written in 1938 by Chaplain William Nathaniel Thomas. It was printed in the program for the August 5 service at 11 am:

"…If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again…."

No need to try again to express those sentiments, he was right on the mark.

NB:  The original version of this post mistakenly attributed the prayer to an unknown midshipman.


  1. Rick, Just a clarification- the MSP is publicly acknowledged to have been written by Chaplain William Nathaniel Thomas in 1938. He was my step-grandfather and I have his things. The Chapel here in Annapolis is spectacular. The Best, Richard Templeton written

    1. Thanks, Richard, I'm happy to make this correction. Chaplain Thomas had a marvelous gift for words and a poetic soul.