These days there are so many theories and methods that promise teachers a transformed classroom or a better experience of personal well-being or work/life balance. Some of these have merit but often they leave teachers stuck in the same old patterns. In today’s episode I want to share with you some insights about Sacred Scripture can truly transform your experience of the education vocation and allow God to unleash your deepest gifts.
Jonathan Doyle is an international speaker, author, businessman and executive coach who has spoken around the world to more than 400,000 people on topics related to personal development, peak performance, leadership, relationships and much more.
His recent keynote addresses include the NCEA National Convention in St. Louis Missouri to 10,000 delegates and he is a frequent keynote speaker in the US, Asia and Europe.
He is also the founder of an influential education and media business that delivers training content to hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals around the world on a weekly basis.
Jonathan holds an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Canberra, a Masters Degree in Leadership and Management from the University of Newcastle and has also undertaken post-graduate study in philosophical anthropology.
He is the author of numerous books on relationships and peak performance and each day shares these same ideas with a large global audience via The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle.
Finishing Strong is a loud and clear call for every young person to make the very best of their final years of school. Based on hundreds of seminars around the world to a huge number of students Jonathan Doyle offers powerful, practical advice that can make a major difference.
Each chapter offers inspiring stories, clear principles and actionable steps for identifying and moving forward in study, life, friendships and each key area of life.
Jonathan also includes journal questions and guided reflections at the end of each chapter to maximise learning and ensure the ideas and principles can be made real, personal and achievable.
If you want to help your child or students make the very best of their final years of high school then it;s time to help them finish strong!
Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again. Welcome friends to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. How do we begin this usually? What do we normally say? I start by saying thank you for your amazing vocation. Thank you for the incredible work you do in the lives of young people. Never forget that. As we go through this interesting time with COVID-19 and the lockdown on and off and all sorts of different things happening, let’s hold on to these great core truths. You have a vocation. You have a vocare. This has been called forth in your life and you are partnering with what C.S. Lewis called “a daring raid on enemy held territory.” I always loved saying that in live seminars. C.S. Lewis used to say that the incarnation was a daring raid on enemy held territory, I always love those words.
So what you’re doing in this beautiful vocation is that you’re partnering with what God is doing in history. “For God so loved the world,” the Gospel of John tells us, “that he gave his only son,” that we’d be in relationship with them. So we’re partnering with that. We are partnering with helping young people experience the revelation of Jesus Christ. Now I know you’ve got all sorts of other things to do around that, the teaching, the research, the planning, all the meetings, don’t you love meetings, all the things that make your vocation what it is, but let’s hold onto this beautiful truth that at the heart of it is the invitation to make Jesus Christ known and loved in the lives of young people. Now, today, I want to talk to you about something that I kind of struggle with, which is exposure to Scripture and why it’s important for Catholic educators.
So, in our crazy busy lives, it’s always challenging to make certain things priorities, to keep those things in front of us that really matter. So sacred Scripture is really one of the crucial ones. Now, I’ve been reading interestingly lately, the book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider Christus Vincent. Now some of you’ll know who he is. I thought I was a pretty Orthodox dude, but Bishop Athanasius, he’s out there, he’s out there on the Orthodox spectrum. God bless him. And the book is a fascinating read. My gosh, I do recommend it. You may not agree with everything in it but it’s definitely an example of somebody that knows their own mind and knows the faith deeply. But he’s making the point that it’s often difficult to really study Scripture. He said that for those in the clerical state of life, they have the breviary, the divine office, so they’re exposed to Scripture and a lot of the great writers of the church, the doctors of the church, the patristics are there on a daily basis.
But for the rest of us, it can often be hard to get daily exposure to Scripture, so the first thing is you want to be very conscious about it. I’m putting my hand up and saying, “I struggle with this.” I’ve got three kids under 12. I’ve got a crazy life. So I pray the divine office every morning because I’m very much an early riser, but often find it hard to get time for Scripture. I’ve got to be very dedicated and deliberate about it. So I guess the obvious thing is, “Okay, Jonathan, yes, we agree. We should do this, but why should we do it?” So the first thing is I want to read to you a great quote from Hebrews, from the amplified version of the Bible. I know people get a bit fancy about translations, but this is the amplified translation about the importance of Scripture. Listen to this.
It says, “For the word that God speaks is alive and full of power, making it active, operative, energizing, and effective. It is sharper than any two edged sword,” you’ll be familiar with that part, “penetrating to the dividing line of the breadth of life, soul, and the immortal spirit and of joints and mirror of the deepest parts of our nature, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” There’s a lot there, isn’t there? I mean, that great quote from Hebrews reminds us that there is something supernatural about Scripture. So let’s link this to why it matters for Catholic education. So I’m going to give you a quote here from Catechesi Tradendae, the John Paul Two’s document. It’s called Catechesis in our Time. So this is what we do in the Going Deeper Program, if you’re not familiar with it, Going Deeper is our online program for Catholic teachers and for Catholic schools. So make sure you got a onecatholicteacher.com. Go to the resources tab and check out the free trial to Going Deeper.
But listen to what John Paul Two says about Catholic teachers. He says, “They must be, wherever they’re teaching, whether they’re teaching in a catechesis class or on a sporting field or in a music setting,” he says, “Catholic teachers must be impregnated and penetrated by the thought, the spirit, and the outlook of the Bible and the Gospels through assiduous contact with the texts themselves.” One more time, “Catholic teachers must be impregnated and penetrated by the thought, the spirit, and the outlook of the Bible and the Gospels through assiduous contact with the text themselves.” So really very simply, let’s wrap this up, that we need to be people who are shaped and formed and transformed and changed by contact with Scripture and particularly with the Gospels. Don’t take it as a burden, huh. Don’t take it as a burden, take it as an invitation. Take it as a beautiful invitation to grow, to develop, to transform over time as the Gospels and Scripture transform us.
Look, I’m just preaching to myself. I find in my own life there’s things that I’ve struggled with in my life, seasons of depression, anxiety, where I’ve read everything, I’ve watched online courses, I’ve talked to counselors, and I don’t get much change. I mean, everyone’s different, but that’s been my journey. But sometimes it’s this power in the word of God to read what he thinks about us, to read what he says about us, to read what he has in store for us, there is a power. So very simply, if you look at that quote from Hebrew is it’s this simple, there’s either power in the word of God itself or there isn’t. There isn’t maybe some days there is, some days there isn’t, maybe there could be on certain conditions and not others. Scripture is really clear and Scriptures are either right or we are, and I’m backing Scripture. Hebrew says that there is power, there is power in that word of God to transform us, to change us.
So if you’re stuck anywhere in life, if there’s areas of your teaching, relationships, marriage, parenting, mental health, all that stuff, well, all I’m going to do is preach to myself, and so I’m just going to double down today, I’m going to get out of the studio in a minute and I’m going to spend a little extra time just allowing God to speak to me through Scripture. So that’s my prayer for you. That’s my prayer for me. I want to pray for you now. Father God, I thank you for the beautiful gift of the vocation of every Catholic teacher listening to me right now. I’m going to pray, father, that you would help them to realize the beautiful gift of their guardian angel, that you have placed a guardian angel in their life, in their vocation to walk alongside them, help them to pray to that guardian angel for great strength and provision and protection in their beautiful work.
I ask you to bless and protect the family of every Catholic teacher living here. Strengthen their families. Bring joy into their homes. But, father, most of all, sustain these Catholic teachers on their journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Friends, that’s it from me. Hope that was helpful. Do me a favor, make sure you’ve subscribed. The podcast is growing, it’s really awesome to see. Subscribe, hit the button wherever you’re listening, and please share this with a few people. And last thing is go check out the website, onecatholicteacher.com. I’m still building it out so if there’s pages missing just be cool. So come and check out the resources page. Please, go and buy a copy of my new book. I’ve got a new book on that page called Finishing Strong. It’s brilliant for teachers, high school students. Go check it out. Finishing Strong on the website onecatholicteacher.com. God bless you, friends. You can find me on Instagram at Jonathan Doyle 47. You can find me on Twitter at Being Catholic One. My name’s Jonathan Doyle. This has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. And I’m going to have another message for you tomorrow.