Every Catholic teacher can have times when they feel stuck, burned out or unsure of the impact of their daily work.

In today’s episode I respond to a beautiful listener question that asks for input on knowing when it may be time to make some changes.

Grab your free access to my awesome resource for Catholic teachers right here:

https://cf.onecatholicteacher.com/oct-opt-in

Find out about booking Jonathan to come and speak at your school or event

https://cf.onecatholicteacher.com/catholic-speaking

Karen Doyle’s MasterClass for women here:

https://bit.ly/geniusmasterclasskaren

Transcript
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Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you.

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Once again, welcome back to the Catholic teacher, almost daily podcast.

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We are doing our best here.

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In the studio to get your content as often as possible, please

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make sure you have subscribed.

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Hit that big subscribe Wherever you're listening, apple podcasts, Google,

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Spotify, wherever it is that you're listening to this humble podcast.

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I'd love it.

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If you could hit that subscribe button and the best thing you could do to help me.

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This is all free.

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This is all killer.

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No filler day after day.

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The only thing that would be a blessing to me is if you would share this with

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other Catholic teachers, I just have a real sense that it's a challenging In

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Catholic education, there are so many.

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Socio-cultural political structural forces that are against the expression of faith.

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Against the expression of Catholic passionate education.

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Where we really seek to make the person of Jesus known and loved

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in the lives of young people.

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So simply sharing this with more teachers is a great blessing to me.

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So I'd love it.

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If you could do that.

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And would you please check out the links here?

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If you, uh, whatever podcast app you're on, you should be able

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to find a bunch of links here.

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You can get free access, 10 weeks of free access to the going deeper

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Catholic teacher formation program.

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Completely free to you.

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You can find out where to book me to speak I'm back on the speaking

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circuit, working with Catholic schools, Catholic students, all around

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So wherever you are, check out that link, reach out and let me know.

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I'm hoping to be in the United Kingdom in November.

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You're hearing this.

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So if you are in the UK, reach Uh, quickly and I'll see if

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we can make something happen.

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They VR you're over there doing great sessions for students on

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leadership, mental health, faith.

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And then of course, working with teachers on.

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Mission evangelization and, uh, and teacher wellbeing.

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This whole teacher burnout exhaustion thing is such a big issue.

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So if you are in Catholic education and you are noticing that you or

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your colleagues are struggling with fatigue and burnout, a little bit of

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disillusionment, Then go check out those links on how you can book me to speak.

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And finally, you'll find a link somewhere here to Karen's Catholic

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masterclass for women around the world.

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She does this amazing online masterclass for Catholic women.

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So go check that out.

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Okay, let's jump Today is another fantastic listener question.

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They're a great privilege to read these and to speak into them in some way.

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We're going to trust the holy spirit is going to be doing that.

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So.

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This is a beautiful question.

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Uh, from a lady who I really admire, who does some great work.

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And she said this, I am interested.

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In what you can do when you feel stuck.

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And you feel that your talents or opportunities are hard to grow?

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Perhaps I am over some of the aspects of teaching mainly correcting year

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eight, English And at coming up to a young 65 and still needing to work.

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I wonder how I can inject more satisfaction into the working day.

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But I would like to feel I can use my talents more overtly

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than just in the classroom.

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Any suggestions, ideas, hints for the listener who feels that

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they have a light to shine.

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But I'm not sure of the best avenue for this.

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To work.

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All right.

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Summary.

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What have we got here?

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We've got somebody doing amazing work in Catholic education.

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Faithful diligent

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In the lives of young people, but having an interior sense that is

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this, all there is, is this all that I'm called to maybe some fatigue You

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know, it's understandable, isn't it?

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You know, it's a.

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This journey of education.

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You guys are professional givers.

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That's what I always say.

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Catholic education is the art of professional giving.

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I'm an introvert.

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Believe it or not.

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I know when you hear me on the microphone or you see me on YouTube.

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You're like introvert.

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You.

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I am the biggest introvert.

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I know my eldest daughter may be close, but I am like, so.

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Somewhere way down the introspection curve and, uh, you know, for introverts

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as much as we can be creative.

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And, uh, and passionate about what we do yoga to get tired

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and probably some extroverts.

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I feel this as well.

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So really what we're dealing with here is a very real

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situation in Catholic education.

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Many of us can relate to.

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So I want to frame this a few ways.

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At the top level.

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I think what we're dealing here with here is a discernment question.

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Right?

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And the good news is that in, uh, in the Catholic tradition, we have

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a great long history of discernment.

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You've got the great masters, of course, like.

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Uh, St.

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Ignatius of Loyola who really did sort of the master work on

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discernment, but take heart because.

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The Catholic tradition is one of a deeper discernment, the discernment of

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spirits, the discernment of experiences of desolation and constellation.

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Where is God moving at any particular point in my life?

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Am I called to enjoy it.

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Am I in call to change?

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So I want to frame this initially as a discernment question.

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And one of the first suggestions I'd like to make is around the

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question of spiritual direction.

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So I'm very blessed.

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I have a wonderful spiritual director who I work with remotely.

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They're based in the U S and so we meet up usually once a

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fortnight on a secure platform.

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And, uh, you know, really just the job of a spiritual director is to listen

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with the person is to try and listen

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The direct team.

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Uh, to uncover what God is saying or doing in their lives.

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I know that many of you listening either will not have had spiritual

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direction before, or if you have, or in the past, you might find

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it difficult to find somebody.

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This is really true.

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It's.

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We're at a moment in history where there is a lack of

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spiritual directors available.

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And of course, if you can find one, then you've got to find one

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that you really connect with.

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So what I would suggest first for anybody facing questions

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like these is to begin it.

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From the perspective of a, an adventure of discernment.

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You know, uh, what was it that Plato used to say You know, feelings,

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excellent servants, but terrible masters.

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In the psychological literature, we refer to emotions as epi phenomenon.

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They, they emerge from within our consciousness and they are great servants.

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Of course, if they master us, if our feelings completely

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dominate our existential horizon, then life becomes problematic.

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But I want to say to this person in this question that these feelings

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are communication, their data, they're telling you something.

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They're not specifically telling you what to do, but they're telling you

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that there's a question to be addressed.

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So the, I would really frame it, whether it's through a

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greater commitment to prayer.

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A greater commitment to times of discernment or spiritual direction.

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I want to put that in place first.

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You know, we have a great holy hour at the cathedral here in where I live

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and I sort of try and get there most And really these days I just sit, I

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listened to really beautiful music.

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I have my Bible and I just sit and I try to position myself.

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With the Lord.

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Uh, I don't tend to hear very much.

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I don't tend to have, you know, out of body experiences, but I just want

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to say to everybody, as you face these questions of discernment, Just place

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yourself more fully in the presence of the Lord in whatever way you can.

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It might be going for a long

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But let's get a big on that now.

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The sermon is the first piece.

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The second piece I want to talk about is.

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There's a beautiful quote from Carol House Lander that I want to share with you.

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And I want to share it with you in the position of reframing.

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So my other sort of hat that I wear of course, is in, uh, you know, coaching

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and motivation and personal development.

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At a pretty high level with, with senior people.

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So one of the most powerful tools we have in executive coaching

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is around the area of reframing.

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So you take a question or problem and you try and find a different meaning.

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So you frame the question, like, what else could this mean?

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Okay, so you want to take your experience and ask good questions about it, you know,

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because if you asked the wrong question,

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You know, say for this person who's struggling a little bit with, you

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know, just teaching day after day.

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If you asked the wrong question, if you ask a question, like why do I

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hate my life so much Your brain is probably going to serve up a really

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unhelpful But if you ask a question, like, what else could this mean?

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What else could be happening here?

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What is the invitation.

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And then you start to journal and think about that.

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You get a different set of outcomes.

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Now, where is this beautiful quote that I wanted to share with you?

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This is from Carol House Lander, somebody I came across.

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Uh, you know, more recently, I hadn't really heard much of her work, beautiful

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Catholics on a mystic and poet.

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And Carol ha house.

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Linda writes something here.

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I'm gonna read it to you.

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That can really help us reframe.

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The mundane, the T the sometimes even could we say drudgery?

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Of education, the constant daily grind marking year eight essays

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turning up day after day after day.

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Listen to what she says is very powerful.

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Here

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Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives.

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That going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is

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nothing else, but waste and weariness.

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But it may be that God has sent us there because, but for us.

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Christ would not If our being there means that Christ is there.

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That alone.

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Makes it worth while.

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That's had a really big impact on me over the last maybe couple of years.

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You know, Carol House lender is saying that.

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There are times there are possible possible situations

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where if we were not there.

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If we were not sent into that specific classroom, into the life of that specific

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young person, then the presence of Christ would not be ministered to them.

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I think that's a really important reframe.

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I don't know if that's the answer.

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I can't specifically speak into this person's circumstance or anybody else's

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and say, this is what God's saying, but I think it's really worth considering.

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That sometimes we just need a reminder.

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That you know, I often talk about God's economy.

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You know, human economy is all about bigger is better.

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Faster is better, more is better than less.

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You know, more fame, more influence, more power, more

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followers, all that sort of stuff.

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Right.

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But if you look at God's economy, it's radically different.

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He's really into the small, the seemingly insignificant the overlooked.

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The repetitive, the mundane, the simple today's the feast of I'm sister

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Festina come Oscar who's of course the, the missionary of divine mercy.

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I'm reading the divine office this morning.

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You look at her life.

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You know, she, she was the simplest person.

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She got rejected from convent after convent.

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And now there, you know, she's already a Saint, but they're looking

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to make her a doctor of the church.

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So sometimes, and she died young.

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She was the Gardner and she was the Porter at her conference.

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She carried bags and worked in the garden.

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And yet God uses her to unleash this phenomenal new insight

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into the nature of God himself.

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So please do not overlook the small and the insignificant because you

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know, you could reframe those year eight essays, you You could say to

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the holy spirit, give me the grace.

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To help me to be re-energized for this work.

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Why?

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Because if you can

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One student who comes from maybe a family there.

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They don't have great literacy or they don't have a history

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of, you know, success or maybe breakthrough in their family history.

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Just the fact that you really work with them on their essays, Controlee changed

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the trajectory of someone's life.

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So please let's all of us not overlook the small details.

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The things that we feel can be mundane or repetitive can actually

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be incredibly important and powerful.

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So that's just the concept of a reframe that maybe if it wasn't

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for us being there, the presence of Christ wouldn't be there.

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And I just wanted to, to sort of flesh

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One final time with a great quote from mother Teresa of Calcutta.

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Who beautifully said, I have discovered the great paradox.

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That if I love until it hurts, there is no more hurt.

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Only more love.

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You know, She's extraordinary mother Teresa, of course, because she

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experienced great spiritual darkness.

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I know some of, you know, there's some of You know, given her influence

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and her fame, she struggled for many years with periods of sort of almost

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depression, spiritual depression, darkness, a dark night of the soul

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experienced spiritual dryness.

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But she discovered that the ability just to keep going to love when she

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didn't feel like loving to contribute, when she didn't feel like contributing.

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You know, and I've discovered that very much in my own life, sometimes

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you just have to do and do and do, and then the feelings come on.

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The other side of it now, again, sensitive to this question, I'm not

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saying that we should ignore our feelings

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Push on indefinitely because if we do, we get cynical, we get angry.

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We get exhausted.

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We take it out on our family.

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So this is the discernment piece.

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So Christ either reenergizes us, the holy spirit, either reframes our experience and

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reminds us that that's where God wants us.

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Or it's the discernment question of, are we called to be, or do

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something else at this moment in life?

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And the last thing I want to say on this is.

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Many years ago, I listened to an extensive piece from John Maxwell, who of course

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is a world famous leadership guru.

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And Maxwell's thesis was that our core mission in life are essential.

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Vocation doesn't change over the life course.

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But it's expression does.

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So God tends to call us into one dominant way of being like we've obviously

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got the vocations in life, you know, religious life, married life, single life.

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We've got But the, he tends to give most of us a particular interest or carers.

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And so for me, It's always been teaching.

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And motivating, like I love to teach and to motivate people.

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That's what I love to do.

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Now I did it for.

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For a time as a school teacher, then I did it, uh, you know, doing live

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seminars for up to 40,000 people a year.

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I'm doing it now in podcast videos and live speaking again.

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But can you see that the way that that has been expressed in my life has changed In a

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few hours, I'm giving a live seminar to a.

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To a group on, uh, on resilience.

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So I'm going to be there on stage today.

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Speaking about resilience, I'll be teaching.

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I'll be inspiring encouraging people because this stayed the same.

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So I want to say to this lady, Uh, you Your core interest in life.

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What really animates you.

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So you need to look at what you really love to do.

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What is it that took you into teaching in the first place?

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What is it that at its best, you still love about teaching and education.

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You know, because maybe it's just being called to be expressed in a different way.

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Maybe it's time to teach teachers.

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Maybe it's time to mentor people.

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Maybe it's time to teach in a different area or a different age group who knows.

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But it's rare that God goes, you know, it's unlikely that God is

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going to take me from what I do now.

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And make me want to become an accountant.

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It could be could happen.

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I'm not, I'm not God.

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You know, it's unlikely.

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He's gonna make me a, you know, a deep sea diver who knows

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like come up with anything.

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Right.

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You get my point.

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So he tends to have a continuity with us over time.

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So look into your life and go, what is it that I love about this?

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Or I did love about this.

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And asked the Lord, where am I being called to express it?

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Lord, you want me to stay here?

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Do you just need to refresh me?

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Re-energize me reframe what's going on or are you calling me to be somewhere

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else and do that with the help of a trusted spiritual Okay, everybody.

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I hope that's useful.

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Uh, for all of us at different times, you know, we're never abandoned.

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We're never alone.

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It can feel like that definitely had times in my life, on the spiritual

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journey where I feel completely empty.

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And wonder where God is and it's all through the scriptures.

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You think of a lodger off to the prophets of Baal incident where he's had this

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massive victory, but then Jesse Bell is trying to kill him and he ends up under

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this tree, begging God to kill him going.

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I've had enough, I'm done.

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I'm out.

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I've had enough.

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I'm exhausted.

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Everyone's going to kill me.

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I'm done.

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How many times have the great men and women of scripture been

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at the very end of their rope.

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And it's at that moment that God steps in.

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So let's trust.

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We have a good God let's trust.

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He's not going to leave us orphans.

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Let's lean into prayer, discernment, spiritual direction, and get the

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answers to these crucial questions.

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But I do want to say to everybody as I finish.

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Take heart from those beautiful words of Carol House, Lander hall, beautiful

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words, those words that remind us that.

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Even if it doesn't feel like it, if we weren't there, Christ may not be there.

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So press on my friends, press on, press on, press on.

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And, uh, make sure you've subscribed.

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Please go check out that as links I'm speaking again, and I

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would love to come and speak to your staff afternoon retreats.

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Uh, I've done evening sessions.

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Full-day programs working with students, whatever you need, reach out and check

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that speaking God bless everybody my name's jonathan doyle this has been the

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catholic teacher pretty much daily podcast and i'll do another one for you tomorrow