In many schools students are increasingly being sold a utopian vision of human and cultural perfection that ignores the truth of the Gospel and the destiny of every human life. In this episode we explore the concept of Capax Dei and why we need to keep some perspective with regard to social, political and environmental movements that seek to gain young people’s unquestioning allegiance.
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, Catholic school evangelisation, 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!
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Over the last two decades, Jonathan Doyle has reached hundreds of thousands of Catholic teachers and leaders around the world with a message of hope and encouragement.
In Tools and Fuels, Jonathan offers a compelling vision of what Catholic schools can be in the 21st century and practical and inspiring strategies about the way each Catholic teacher can play their part in living their vocation, reaching young people and saving the world.
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Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for the Catholic teacher daily podcast. Because we can never get enough daily encouragement, daily inspiration. You know, the older I get, the more I realize that God works through. The created order. I think for many years of my spiritual journey, I was deeply frustrated.
[00:00:28] That, uh, I didn’t hear a booming voice from heaven. Every time I had a question, you know, I used to joke that I would have appreciated an email from God, just outlining some dot points about what to do at each challenging moment. Have you ever been there? In your spiritual journey where you. You’re praying. And you’re wondering why God doesn’t seem to answer.
[00:00:47] You know, I think as I’ve got older, That he speaks to us in all sorts of different ways. Often just through the encouragement. Of the people around us, you know, there’s so many different ways that he’s speaking. I recommend to you a book called simply open. I’m looking here around the studio, trying to see if I can see it anywhere. I can’t remember who the author was, but do an Amazon search for the book. Simply open. It’s a beautiful book where the author just talks about being open to the incredible ways that God is speaking to us all the time, you know, through, uh, friendships, relationships, food nature, you know, this is, uh, an interesting example.
[00:01:24] We have very cold winters here. And we’ve just come into spring and it’s starting to get warm and where we live, there’s this tree. And I think it’s, it’s a big Bush. It’s Jasmine. And in spring, this thing just literally just explodes and the scent is phenomenal and it’s always been a, I guess for me, when I smell that each year, it’s a beautiful thing. It sort of reminds me that some is coming in as a feeling you get.
[00:01:51] And I’m convinced that these are the ways that God speaks to us. Yes. He speaks through us through scripture. Yes. He speaks to us through sacraments ESE speaks to us through the church. But he also speaks to us through the created order. Through the physical realities around us. So don’t rule that out as you go throughout your day, you know, I’ll be expectant in your faith. Be expectant that he’s going to speak to you. It might be through a relationship.
[00:02:14] An interaction with a student, it might be through a interaction with one of your colleagues or a parent or something good. That happens. And, uh, just keep your eyes open, keep your spirit open for all those ways in which he is constantly trying to tell you that he is with you. Now just before. I go to a couple of other things. Today’s readings from Ephesians chapter three. Just want to give you the last couple of lines here in about verse 21.
[00:02:41] Especially impulses now to him. Who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine by the power at work within us.
[00:02:55] Well, I just think that’s quite extraordinary, you know, that some Paul’s reminding us that God can do. More than we can ask more than we can hope more than we can imagine. Now I know we often don’t feel that way, but the eyes of faith, they’re going to operate at a different level that God has in store for us more than we can ask more than we can hope for.
[00:03:18] And more than we can possibly imagine. Which kind of leads into the quote that I wanted to share with you today. Regular listeners know that I’m working through. A book on Catholic education by dr. Ryan topping, it’s called the case of a Catholic education. Listen to this quote for today. He says this as transcendence receipts. What’s transcendence. So.
[00:03:39] Philosophically, uh, the transcendentals or something. Uh, realities that transcend any individual’s person, any individual person’s experience of them. And the transcendentals of truth, beauty and goodness. So, as he says here as transcendence receipts. So as our encounter, As cultures with truth.
[00:04:01] With beauty and with goodness recede. Now, can we agree that that’s sort of happening? Look at our political discourse. Look at all the turmoil in the world. Do you feel we’re in a moment with sort of truth, beauty and goodness are receding a little bit. So he comes over to the court and he says, as transcendence receipts,
[00:04:18] The human person does not give up on ideals. When we turn away from God, we do not abandon heaven. We simply try to bring it down. To earth. Now there’s a lot to this. Let me just break this down a little bit. Why it’s relevant to Catholic education. Often what I’m doing live seminars for teachers. I talk about this Latin term CapEx day.
[00:04:41] And one of the ways that the church understands the human person is that we are something called CapEx day. CapEx is capacity or capacity for something and day is of course, God. So the, the Catholic understanding of the human person is we are CapEx day. We are a God seeking, being, you know, Aternity has been stamped in our hearts in our very DNA.
[00:05:04] Is this yearning for God, you know, GK Chesterton writing back in the 1930s. I used to say that I had a famous quote where he said every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God. Now I know you’re going, Jonathan, how did that sneak into the daily podcast? But think about it. Anybody in any form of addiction?
[00:05:26] Whether it’s, you know, Drug addiction or sexual addiction. Is looking for transcendence. They’re looking for escape. They’re looking for something else. So this desire for what is true, what is good? What is beautiful? I stamped very, very deeply into the human heart. And as our culture is increasingly referred to as post-Christian.
[00:05:48] That desire for transcendence and Aternity doesn’t disappear. It just manifests in, I’d say. Mutated forms. So, you know, the idea that we can create utopian societies through purely political action. I think this matters for Catholic teachers. Because so many of our students are being, you know, almost in some ways, radicalized, like not necessarily in Catholic schools, but throughout the education system has so many students.
[00:06:15] Who, uh, I guess. Transforming this desire for transcendence this CapEx day into social political action. And throughout history while they look there’s obviously been definite benefits to social and political change. But if we make the, you know, the goal of reality, the, the human journey just about that.
[00:06:35] Then we’re acting in a way contrary to the truth of our nature. So listen to this one more time as transcendence receipts, the human person does not give up on ideals. Why not? Because we can’t because we’re CapEx day because every student in your classroom has been created with a longing for heaven, whether they know it or not.
[00:06:54] The desire for truth, that desire for beauty, that desire for goodness. You know, CS Lewis used to explain it like this. He said, you know, we’ve we experienced hunger, right? And we know that there’s something called food. But no matter how much we eat, eventually every person can’t eat anymore. They’ve had enough food. I just, whether it’s a little bit or a lot, you.
[00:07:13] Eventually we hit that point. But the thing about the transcendentals about truth, beauty and goodness. Have you ever heard somebody say, you know what? I’ve had enough truth. I don’t want any more truth, no more truth for me, I would like some lies place. Have you ever heard someone say, you know what? That sunset it’s way too beautiful. I’ve had too much beauty today. I’ve hit my beauty threshold. No more beauty for me, please. I’d like some ugliness I’d like to go and leave, you know, really ugly place and watch ugly things on television and have ugly relationships ever heard someone say that. I don’t think so. And finally, goodness.
[00:07:47] Have you ever heard someone say, you know what? There’s too much goodness in the world. Yeah, no, this is just my, my, my wife. She’s too good to me. My husband he’s too good to me. My friends they’re too good to me. I need some meanness. I need some nastiness. I need to be betrayed. We’ve never heard that.
[00:08:01] And this is the thing about the transcendentals is that they’re infinite. Aristotle would say that, you know, God was Supreme truth, Supreme, beauty, Supreme, goodness. So, you know, these desires are so central. So as you go into your classroom and remember that we are not raising homo, economic is we are not raising inputs to the factory education college.
[00:08:23] Economic system. Those are byproducts of a great Catholic education. What we’re doing. Is seeing before us all these wonderful young people who are CapEx day. And. This idea when he finishes this quote here, he says that we simply try to bring it down to earth. I think that’s what we’re seeing. In aspects of, you know, social, political, actual action, extreme elements of environmentalism.
[00:08:47] We’re seeing a generation of young people being, I guess, hijacked into the belief that they can create some kind of utopian society here. You know, I gotta be honest with you. How many times do you hear people talk about, you know, they want to change the world. You know, how many young people like, you know, I really want to change the world and we sort of Pat them on the back and we saw that that’s really great. You know, you go for it.
[00:09:07] We don’t wanna be cynical. We want to be flippant, but you know, women to bring justice to the earth, we’re meant to bring goodness in the presence of Christ into the earth. But I think there’s a little bit of hubris. In this idea that every single one of us is going to radically change the world. I love getting older and you know, this concept of staying in my lane, I actually like just allowing God to use me where he wants to use me. I don’t have to be God.
[00:09:30] And I didn’t have to run the universe. So I think we could take some pressure off our students by going home. Allow the Holy spirit to prompt you into what he wants to do with your life. Rather than, you know, so many kids to sending up really obsessed with huge global movements. That, um, can often leave them, you know, feeling that they are a little betrayed perhaps. So.
[00:09:53] I don’t know what you think about that. Some of you might go, right? This is the last podcast from Jonathan I’m ever listening to. Well, thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed your company and, uh, you know, uh, pro podcast for everyone is a podcast for no one. So I just hope that we can realize the beauty and richness.
[00:10:07] Of this amazing vocation we have in Catholic education. And how we can help young people see the truth. About their destiny, their identity. And you play such a crucial role in that every single day. So from a Fijian is what have we learned today that God can do more than we can ask hope and imagine.
[00:10:25] And I think some of that’s got to do with heaven. We’ve, we’ve lost a bit of that. Filter about heaven. You know, this idea of creating a utopia on earth is that we lose the fact that this is simply this isn’t home. You know, I mean, Teresa of Avila said that CS Lewis said that this isn’t how I’m. This is not home.
[00:10:44] And while we should try and make it as just, and as kingdom centered as possible. Let’s not as not, let’s not let it take our eyes away from our eternal home. And help young people understand that our classrooms heaven is our home. We need to love the Lord. We need to grow in virtue. We need to become saints.
[00:11:03] So that we can take as many of our friends, family, and acquaintances with us to our eternal home, or I had friends. God bless you. Hope that’s useful for you in your journey. Thank you for what you’re doing as a Catholic educator, please make sure you’ve subscribed. That would be awesome. If you could hit subscribe wherever you’re listening. If you could leave a comment, that would also be a huge blessing. Now, last thing everything’s on the website. One Catholic teacher.
[00:11:26] Dot com one Catholic teacher.com. Please go to the resources page, hit the going deeper tab, because that is going to give you a completely free trial of the going deeper program. So you’d go and check that out. One Catholic teacher.com. God bless your friends. My name’s Jonathan Doyle. This has been the Catholic teacher daily podcast. And I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.