prayer before the sermon
When you preached on earth, Lord, you found the divine words that were able to reach the hearts of your hearers. Your truth moved them deeply and prompted them to follow you and to live for you.
Lord, bless now the words of the preacher. Allow him to forget himself, his mediocrity, the effect he would like to produce, so that he can speak solely and in all truth of you and your doctrine.
So that he can say the things that all his listeners await, something that truly comes from you, laden with your love, filled with your wisdom, which is not the wisdom of this world.
Grant, Lord, that the Holy Spirit may pervade him, so that he may become a true mediator of your word. But give to us, his hearers, a good spirit, so that we may really hear your word and not simply indulge our mania for criticism--in our irritation at the mediocrity of what he has said and at the faulty manner in which he expressed it--to the point where we see only the preacher and his weakness, and nothing more of your word and Spirit.
Instead, let this hour become a holy hour in which the mediator and the hearer are united in your Spirit.
Helps us to welcome your word as the living word of God and allow it to work in us, so that we may take it home with us; so that a bit of the Church may spring up wherever we are; so that our week may be filled with the gift your grace gives us today.
Let us not forget what we have heard but rather build on it; give us the love it takes to build, let this love work in us.
Remain the light of our days, become the goal of our love, and bestow on us through this homily a new life in your faith, a life that is both prayer and work in your love. Amen.
- Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 15-17.