Finding Peace In The Busy Catholic Teacher Life

Finding Peace In The Busy Catholic Teacher Life

Wisdom from the Bishop of Orleans.

The Bishop of Orleans was a very busy man. In a scribbled note from a retreat he took in the 19th century we discover that he faced the exact same challenges that most Catholic teachers face on a daily basis. In today’s episode I want to talk with you about how he learned to manage the intensity and demands of his vocational life. Burnout and exhaustion do not have to be the path that Catholic education lays out for us. We need to take the risk that if we press into prayer that Jesus will do more than we can ask, hope or imagine.


Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle

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.

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Finding Peace In The Busy Catholic Teacher Life

Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle, once again, welcome to the Catholic teacher daily podcast. Hope you’re doing okay. Wherever you are in the world. Just wanted to put this together, send you a little bit of encouragement. It’s still a very tumultuous time in Catholic education. It’s the tumultuous time in world history.
Uh, you know, watching the election stuff. Around the world, you couldn’t script this stuff. Really. It’s a, it’s really an extraordinary moment. And for me personally, I think when the world gets crazier, the smartest thing you can do is kind of press in a, into prayer, into the practices of faith that have anchored Christians throughout many, many centuries.
So, you know, isn’t it true that we’re a culture that’s really. Confronted with a lot of anxiety, aren’t we, there’s a sort of an existential anxiety that runs through so much of the world, especially in the developed world, because we realize after maybe not that long, just say that there’s so little, we can really control.
So I just find for what it’s worth that pressing more deeply into prayer and trying to find this deeper trust in God and knowing that he is the Lord of history, right. Because if he’s not the Lord of history, someone else is, and that’s problematic and a little scary. So a we’re going to trust that he is the Lord of history.
He’s the same yesterday. He’s the same today. He’s going to be the same tomorrow and forever. So he’s got this, even if it doesn’t look like it, sometimes to us, we’re just going to press into trust and yeah, no that he’s with us. He’s going to provide for us in our family lives, he’s going to provide for us professional lives.
You know, I shared recently on a podcast. When I was speaking in a, in Boise, Idaho, their Bishop, their Bishop, Peter, I had this great line where he said, you know, you have to stop trying to put Jesus out of a job. He said, you’ve got to stop making Jesus unemployed. You say, Jesus, his job is to carry us, is to sustain.
It’s not something we have to do us. So yeah, it’s easy to say, right? Isn’t it easy stand here in the studio and just say that but much. Huh? To live. So I wanted to offer something today. Practically about how I try and do this and how I think as Catholic educators, we can pursue this journey towards a deeper peace isn’t peace, something that we crave and our world at the moment.
My gosh, you know, I know Pope Francis just put out a new. In cyclical document in one of the focuses, right? That is he’s talking to guests about this desire for peace, this, this deep human desire that we have to live in peace. And even some Paul sort of talked about in the new Testament about this, uh, you know, to try and live good, quiet and peaceful lives so that we can just practice the faith and, and do the work that the Lord’s given us to do.
So let’s keep praying for that. Let’s just not give up. I think for me, I’ve what I’ve noticed over the years is. Utopianism is a big problem often in education. This idea that, that in this temporal order, this world, we’re going to somehow bring about a utopian world of peace. It’s never going to happen.
There’s never gonna be complete peace until Christ returns. And if you look at some of the groups, right, disasters of history, say for example, you look at. It’s a totalitarianism. You look at the communist project, you see this kind of idea that we can manipulate and coerce reality to create sort of some sort of heaven on earth or a worker’s paradise.
It was labor day here yesterday of all things. So. I think it’s worthwhile as educators that, uh, I think that a lot of us, the students have been deeply inculcated into the view that they can bring about a, uh, you know, complete piece and that they’re going to have total harmony in the world. Now we’re going to be intelligent about this cause we don’t want to be cynical and we don’t want to crush their reality, but it’s important as Christian educators, as Catholic educators to really give them a good formation in the brokenness of the human heart.
Um, the, the results of the fall. I mean, this is what our faith teaches that, that there is a rupture in the heart of all of us that leads to the sin and the wounding of reality in our relationships and our politics. That’s always going to be there. And the only thing that’s going to fix it, isn’t, you know, more advanced human systems.
My mother Theresa used to say, there’s a place for programs and systems, but really what’s necessary is a radical abandonment to the person of Jesus Christ. Imagine what a Catholic school would look like. If every single teacher in there was radically abandoned to the provision and the direction and the empowering of Jesus Christ.
I’d like to say, that’s what I’m working towards. So I want to give you a great quote today. I want to talk about busy-ness. Um, isn’t it true that in Catholic education, the exhaustion, the busy-ness is relentless. It just is often so much to do, but if it’s any constellation, it’s been a problem for people of faith.
For as long as a history has been recorded. I want to give you a cool quote today from a Bishop. Uh, the Bishop of Orleans in France, I was born in 1802. And this is a note that was found that he had written down during a retreat. So he’d been on retreat himself now, early on his was a very busy, busy diocese, and he was a very busy, busy person.
Let’s know what he said here. He said my activities are so crushing that they ruined my health, disturb my piety, and yet teach me nothing new. I have got to control them. God has given me the grace to recognize that the big obstacle to my acquiring a peaceful. And fruitful interior life is my natural activity and my tendency to be carried away by my work.
So listen, a couple of those key lines again. He says my activities are so crushing that they ruin my health to disturb my piety and yet teach me nothing new. You ever felt that I remember my first week as a Catholic teacher. Uh, just being absolutely exhausted. And so many of you can relate to this, you know, that sometimes even your health can suffer mental health, physical health, you’re working so hard, you’re dealing with so many complex issues, but the Bishop is talking about that.
The barrier to acquiring this. Does this sort of deep interior life that he’s craving is I guess, his attitude to the work itself and the intensity of the work. So what do you do, do you, do you give up on wanting an interior life or do you give up on the work? Well, if you’re listening to this, I don’t think God’s calling you to quit Catholic education, but I do believe that he’s calling all of us into a deep interior life.
Now I’ve been teaching this all over the world for many, many years, but. When I say it, obviously people are like, Oh yeah, Jonathan, I’m just going to, you know, find myself an extra hour a day and going to go sit in the monastery somewhere. But I truly believe that all of us are called to a constant and deeper enriching of our interior life.
So it is possible. I have three children, very young, still, really, um, you know, 13, 12 and 10, uh, Karen and I have, you know, very complex business that’s spread out around the world. And, uh, as many of you know, I do a huge amount of training. So usually running about one marathon a week and two half marathons.
So. Yesterday. I managed to, you know, my routine is that I I’m up very early. I’ve always been a morning person. I pray the divine office, a pray, the rosary early before I think happens. And then yesterday I crept across, uh, to a church where we, and just got an hour of deep contemplate, contemplative prayer.
I, and I’m not telling you that in any way to sound pious because I’m just not. But I tell you, I think I crossed the line really recently where I just went, you know what? That. That I’m not going to keep living without a deeper commitment to this interior life. Why? Because I think for God, speak to us and direct us and guide us.
We have to have this deep contemplative spirit. I mean, the men and women that have done amazing things in, in Christian history have been men and women have a deep interior relationship with Jesus. And I think. Often teachers are so busy that I think there can be excluded from that, that it’s not a call on your life.
See really what it’s about, about risk. Isn’t it it’s really a question of risk because the equation in most of our heads as educators is we’re so busy that if we were to take time for prayer, Then that would take away from the teaching and we just get more stressed in God’s economy. There is just some, you know, converse law that the deal we give make time for prayer.
The more we make time for interior prayer, the more we sit before the blessed sacrament, we sit in a chapel, we sit before the tabernacle. The more we just, I find it much easier to pray when I know that the physical presence of the Lord is there. So. I just think it’s a question of risk. So the question is, do you want to keep pressing on as things get busier and busier and busier, or do you want to take the risk of beginning to make progressive gradual time for prayer?
Now, some of you won’t be praying a great deal at the moment. You’d be praying on the fly. You’ll be praying on, you know, driving to work. You’ll be praying here and there, but I’m talking about a serious commitment of change in your own life. Will you begin to really pray regularly. Seriously. So. That’s it from me.
I was hope you can take that and store it away. Uh, housekeeping wise, please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast. It’s been lovely to see the numbers growing, uh, and if you’re not on the daily email list, just, um, email me, Jonathan. At one Catholic put you on that daily list.
So we can send you a quote each day, which is quite beautiful, full, and I’ll give you a direct link to the podcast. Friends. If you could subscribe and share this with some people, that’d be great. God bless you. Thank you for what you’re doing. Uh, pray for me. It’s a school holidays here. So we’ve got a house full of kids, other people’s kids, it’s writing, and any parent in the world knows what that means.
You got a whole bunch of kids that can’t go outside, but I will sneak away today, um, you know, tag team with Karen and support her, and then I’ll sneak away for that hour of contemplative prayer. And I’m just going to risk. I’m going to trust that God’s going to carry me. God, bless your friends. Uh, loosen.
We’re going to get through this. We’re going to get through all the turmoil. God is good. He never leaves us. He promised to be with us till the end of the age. I hope it’s not the end of the age. Well, you know, I do cause I get to be with Jesus, but end of the age always gets messy. Doesn’t it tumultuous.
All right, friends. God bless you. Thank you so much. My name’s Jonathan Doyle. This has been the Catholic teacher daily podcast. And I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.

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One Catholic Teacher exists to inspire, encourage and support Catholic teachers around the world. Each day Jonathan Doyle offers a short dose of formation and encouragement via The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Jonathan is also a global speaker and author on all issues related to Catholic Education.