When we know we will be called on to speak we should not expect words to just be given to us.

Friday, 7/8.11

Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what they were to say when they would be brought before hostile judges. He said words “will be given” to you.

Those words: “will be given” were the basis for many old jokes among priests. The Latin for will-be-given is dabitur. And priests who gave homilies or sermons without preparing were said to “go on the dabitur.”

Some priests get by preaching without first preparing, just as some teachers and public speakers can at times get by. But “getting by” falls short of what is needed. You will find that if you write your homily or speech a week in advance, every time you look over what you wrote you will come up with valuable changes or additions.

Neil Simmons was the last century’s leading playwright. He once had six hits running on Broadway the same season. Perhaps his cleverest bit of writing of all was the title he decided on for his autobiography. He called it, “Rewrite.”

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