Dear Jesus, I am thankful for the opportunity to preach, but sometimes it is burdensome. Others envy this privilege; while I am preaching they are thinking what they would say in my place.

Protect me from the attacks of the enemy when I prepare and when I preach. Shield me from the noonday devil of sloth. Drive away the demons of gluttony and lust that distract me from you. Help me with my anger. Enable me to use its energy to give passion to my words, but never to harm your people, especially your little ones. Joy, I know, is your gift. Help me to warm hearts, to open them to your joy.

Lord Jesus, I have worked hard on my homilies, but often out of competition. Help me to desire the salvation of souls and the up-building of your entire Church. Help me to open the full fan of your teachings and to overcome fear of those parts that people need, but do not want to hear.

Forgive me for the times that I did lose and confuse your people. Help me to have clear ideas and transitions from one to the next. Give me an image and a story that young people will remember. Help me to call people to repentance beginning with myself. Help me to have fun when I preach, that at least part of my homily will be fun for me to deliver.

Keep me from making a fool of myself, but when I do, may I remember St. Francis and St. Philip. Unlike them, I did it without trying.

I do not understand why I am not a better person after these years of reflecting on your words and explaining them to others. But please, dear Lord, save me from despair so I can make a new beginning in you. Whatever days remain for me, I pledge to not bury the talent you have entrust to me, but by your grace to obtain a harvest of souls.

I ask my Guardian Angel to speak with the angels of each person in the congregation so that they will hear what they most need. And may Mary, Mother of the Divine Word, intercede for me. Amen.