Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Soldier's Prayer

Growing up, "The Prayer of An Unknown Confederate Soldier" was taped to our refrigerator door. When I went to college, my mother gently pushed aside the few scattered magnets that had settled along its borders, peeled back the yellowing tape, and gave me the prayer. Eighteen years later, that faded, worn piece of paper (that fell victim to more than just the occasional wayward kitchen splatter) remains one of the most valuable things that I own.

The prayer transcends politics and religion to reveal a fundamental truth about the human condition: quality of character is not determined by the types of challenges one faces, but rather by how one faces any type of challenge.

My mother, Adria DiMaria, contracted the polio virus when she was five years old, which left her with significant weakness in both legs. After being hospitalized for a year, her primary treating physician said that he would "tear up his medical license" if she ever walked again; my mother not only walks, but is currently training to become a member of the US Para-equestrian Team and compete in the specialty of Para Dressage at the Paralympics in England (2012). [Click HERE to read her incredible inspirational story.]

With the words of this prayer in my heart and my mother at my side, my cancer diagnosis and treatment has never been a burden; it has always been an opportunity to become more "richly blessed".
The Prayer of An Unknown Confederate Soldier

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was give life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for—but got everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.


  1. How did you get The Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier and I got a signed copy of Walking Tall? C'est la vie of the younger sibling!