In today’s episode I want to share a very beautiful quote from Paul Kingsnorth. It’s a great reminder that any Catholic vocation shares in the same dynamics that motivated all the great saints down through the ages. Just like the Irish monks of the sixth century, you are called each day to set out on a path of trust and mystery as the Holy Spirit guides your work.
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.
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Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan with you here. Thanks so much for taking a moment just to listen in. You could be hearing this on podcast app or seeing it here on YouTube or on the website. So welcome aboard. I just wanted to keep increasing the content of the daily message for Catholic teachers around the world.
Karen and I, this morning just got off a great zoom. With Michael Lancaster from the diocese of Madison. So unfortunately I can’t be in the U S in person at the moment, but really looking forward to doing a great live session there soon, but really great to talk to Michael, just really encouraged by the quality of leadership in so many diocese and so many.
Catholic schools. So today I want to share with you a quote from Paul Kingsnorth, I’ve become a really big fan of this guy. He lives with his young family on the remote Western coast of Ireland. And he is a most unusual figure. He’s a highly, highly educated, incredibly well-read used to be an environmental activist and then kind of became a bit disillusioned disillusioned with it all.
And, um, you know, began to question some of the assumptions and. While he still cares very deeply about, I guess, the environment. He’s also a person of faith in someone who’s exploring new directions. So I’m going to interview him next week, which will be great, but his writing, uh, particularly on sub stack is just absolutely extraordinary.
And, uh, phonic quite moving yesterday. He wrote a great piece on substance. About something called green martyrdom, which was, you know, I guess that we were all very familiar with the, uh, the issues of martyrdom early in the life of the church. But one company, constant Constantine, my Christianity, the state, religion of the Roman empire.
And about the fourth century, there was less, it was, it got harder to get killed for your faith because martyrdom was seen as a, you know, for many of the early Christians as a, an incredibly noble crowning achievement. They didn’t seek it out necessarily, but they didn’t flip it. So with the promulgation of Constantine, it became much harder to die as death.
So what we find is, you know, the desert fathers and mothers, and then again, in the sixth century of the coast of Ireland, we find some of the very early European monastics seeking what they called the green martyrdom, which was heading out into wild and remote place. And in those worlds in remote places, really seeking connection with God, really seeking a life of austerity and I guess, suffering in the simplicity.
So when you read Paul King’s North’s latest piece, and I think it’s publicly available. So I will try and link to it. It’s very much worth reading and beautiful photographs. And I do recommend following him on sub stack. If you can. But, uh, these monks took off from the coast and went out to Skellig, Michael, which is kind of 10 miles off into the Atlantic.
So think of this in the sixth century, not a lot of life jackets, not a lot of GPS. Yes. Locators and some wild wild weather. But if you look at the photographs, you’ll see this incredible monastic commute. Just built out of the raw rock of the island itself. So for them, the green martyrdom was living in these little rock shelters and growing whatever they could and suffering the elements.
And it wasn’t out of self-loathing or self-hatred, it was fundamentally about a desire to more deeply connect with God and to experience God by the stripping away of all those other things that can hold us back. And do you think it’s fair to say that in our modern culture. Look, it’s great. You know what I mean?
I don’t think I want to wind any of it back. You know, flushing, toilets are a pretty awesome thing, you know, can you imagine the things we take for granted, but it’s also fair to say that the complexity of our modern life and I’ve, I’ve said to Catholic teachers for a very long time, that it is the constant demands of teaching the pressures, that complexity, and then we’ve got all our devices and then we have all the things that take up our time.
So sometimes it can be harder to encounter God in the simplicity of nature itself. So that’s why today’s quiet, which I should get to. So we can all get this done and may not go on for too long is really special. So this is, I’ll just flip across to it here. He says this sometimes when the world is broken and the world is always broken, it is right to take to the water.
It is right to leave the shore. And sit out beyond the horizon to see where you are sent and what work you will be given when you arrive. Sila just really spoke to me yesterday. I thought, you know, this nature of Catholic education is, is really a setting out. I mean, how many of us, when we started our studies to become Catholic teachers, you know, we knew the journey that we take, the communities would be part of the lives that we would impact the experiences that we’d have.
So. I think the anything for a Catholic that is vocational is it is a setting out there’s a call and a response. So your daily vocational work is embedded in that great mystery. As I’ve said to tens of thousands of Catholic teachers over the years, always ask yourself the question. What if you didn’t choose teaching?
What if teaching chose you? So we’re caught up into this very great mystery, this very great mystery of Catholic education. And it’s a setting out it’s, uh, you know, who knows what we find when we arrive at a particular school or particular classroom and who knows what God’s going to ask of us? You know, I like to say that, um, I don’t know if you’d agree with this, right, but there’s almost one emotion, one experience that Catholic teachers never have and that’s boring.
They might have burnout, frustration, you know, all sorts of things, you know, joy, community, happiness, peace. But the one thing I would say that most of you listening or watching this have never experienced is boredom. So God’s good to us, right? Like he puts us in places where he can do so much through us.
Just by our simple response, our simple, yes. That’s why the example of Mary is just so crucial, right? Because Mary is the one who gives her fear to who, who gives her great. Let it be done. And so we’re called to mirror that. So friends check out Paul King’s 📍 north. Remember that we’re always sitting out each day, each day in Catholic education, you are called into the vocation.
You’re called into sitting out into the unknown every single day, who knows what’s going to happen in any given Catholic classroom, but asked for the graces of the holy spirit are the same graces that guided those monks across the waters are the same graces that are available for you. All right. You never alone.
Remember that? You’re never alone. All right. That’s it for me? Um, if you’re seeing this on YouTube, please make sure you’ve subscribed. I’m back on Twitter at J D Catholic dot, uh, just Jedi at JD Catholic. Uh, I’m also like on Instagram, you can find me at one Catholic. Uh, on Instagram and, uh, everything else is on the website and one Catholic teacher.com.
God bless everybody. Please make sure you’ve subscribed to share this with some people. If it’s a blessing, my name is Jonathan Doyle, and I’m going to have another message for you very soon.