The Catholic Teacher, Lent, Charity And The Face Of Christ

The Catholic Teacher, Lent, Charity And The Face Of Christ

According to Pope Benedict XVI, there is a place for political and social action but it should never come at the expense of the individual human actions that make up true Christian charity. At the heart of the Lenten call to ‘almsgiving’ is more than just a transfer of finance or material comfort to the poor. What matters even more is that these actions should also involve a genuine gift of ourselves to one another. In this episode I talk about the ‘gift of self’, the place of political programs and much more.
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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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Catholic Daily Feb 16 2021

📍 Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for the Catholic teacher, almost daily podcast. To try to get them out. Uh, on time each day, you know what? I actually do three different podcasts a day. It’s amazing how you can get organized and streamlined, I guess, you know, all about that. The, um, one of the great.

Crucial skill sets of a fictive Catholic education is that kind of time management and efficiency. I’m sure you don’t always feel that a you’ve got it dialed in, but I’m sure you’re doing pretty well. So, Hey, listen. Thanks for listening in. Thanks for blessing me with a little bit of your time. I hope I can bring you something useful today or more correctly. I hope the Holy spirit can bring you something today.

We are in lent we’re in the first week of lent. And, uh, what I’m trying to focus on here is just bringing you some depth, some good stuff to think about. And what we’re talking about today is a beautiful message from Pope Benedict, the 16th Pope emeritus. Benedict the 16th. And this is a quote from his Linton message in 2006.

When we built the going deeper program, which you can check out on our website on the We really were amazed at the depth of teaching that really wasn’t reaching as many Catholic teachers as we like. That’s kind of what animated us. And as we worked through so many of the church documents and education,

You kind of go down a rabbit hole and you just find this enormous richness of doctrine and teaching and on the Vatican website, which has not been updated best. I can tell since the middle ages. Uh, the everything’s there. You gotta dig sometimes, but everything is there on the Vatican website. And so the Lenten messages.

Of recent Pope’s can often be really good and sort of try to prayerfully, read through those and extract a little bit of stuff each day. So do they want to share something with you from the Lenten message of 2006? I think there’s a lot of good stuff in here. And let me just share this quote with you and unpack it briefly and we’ll get you on your way. So here’s the quote.

Pope Benedict said, even in this era of global interdependence, it is clear that no economic social or political project can replace that gift of self to another. Through which charity is expressed. Therefore, we must help others to find God. In the merciful face of Christ. Without this perspective, civilization lacks a solid foundation.

I really like this there’s so much here. So. Two main themes in this short quote. The first thing that he’s saying that yes, the world is massively interconnected in a way that it’s never been in human history. But he’s making the point that along with that, And I hope you’d agree that we’re seeing a lot of this kind of.

Utopianism expressing itself lately that, uh, the idea that I particular political party. A particular social movement. Can bring about. For one of a better term, the kingdom of God in some way. You know, this kind of earthly utopia that if we just acted right, if we just got ourselves organized, if we just believed the right political messages,

Then the world would just come together in a great sea of rainbows and unicorns. And I’m sure if you’ve paid and I’m not being cynical here, I don’t want to be really clear. This is not about just laughing it off and, you know, there’s a crucial place for, you know, for. For politics, right. There has to be where we’re a social species that have to find a way to live together.

In a, in a huge range of diverse opinions and beliefs. So there’s a real need for, you know, appropriate economic, social and political realities to manifest. In a just way. But what he’s saying here is that none of this can replace, and he’s the key term, the gift of self to another, through which charity has expressed. So here we are in lint and we’re talking about obviously the three main concepts here, prayer, fasting, and arms giving an arms giving here. He’s sort of saying that it’s this gift of self.

That it’s not enough just to, you know, there’s a big place for, I guess, financial support of the poor. But he’s also pointing us to this fundamental gift of self. This need to give of ourselves to others. And a Catholic school community is a unique place where that can happen. So powerfully, so effectively, so beautifully. Right.

So let’s first begin to realize that we are invited in our Catholic school communities too. Give a genuine gift of ourselves to others. And that is how charity is expressed. You know, charity love of neighbor is not an abstract concept. I mean, Jesus is so clear in the gospels. Isn’t he lucky? He says, you know, whatever you did for the least of these, did you visit somebody who was sick? Did you visit somebody in prison? Did you give clothing to people that needed it? So.

He’s teaching us that, that charity. Is expressed through physically concrete actions. And that’s why somebody like mother Teresa is so it’s such a huge blessing to the church and so influential because she truly manifested the. The reality, the real physical grittiness of being a gift of self to others. So first reflection here is.

I just think that we need to be very careful in Catholic schools, in different parts of the world. In. I just think we need to be really careful about ever inculcating our students into some kind of political utopianism, whatever form that might take. So moment of my daughters at the moment they’re teaching civics.

Which is a really good thing. And we just always need to be careful that we’re teaching the concepts, the, the, the theoretical underpinnings. From a, I guess, a rich Christian anthropology in terms of why we want to have a great stay. Why politics matters. But can you hear what I’m trying to allude to here? That if we ever find ourselves in the position.

Of communicating one kind of political reality over another. I just don’t think that’s our game. I don’t think it’s our business. I think it undermines the role of parents. And I think it can drag students into this belief that we can create some kind of utopia here. This is, this requires a lot of sensitivity in prayer. Doesn’t it? Because there’s this paradox. We, we do want to the kingdom of God to be present here, but we also realize that this isn’t home, that that were called.

To the heavenly Jerusalem, right? So we build the best we can here, but we keep reminding ourselves as this quote, does. That, what we really need to do is the individual gift of self in charity that builds up great communities. So the last thing here is you said, you know, we must help others to find God in the merciful face of Christ.

Without this perspective, civilization lacks a solid foundation. This is important. I think what he’s doing here is just pointing us continually, directly relentlessly towards Christ. If we present. Uh, Christ to our students. Then as they grow in relationship with him, as the Holy spirit becomes more influential in their lives.

Then they will go forward to make important contributions to culture over time. But can you see what Bendix doing here is saying, look, the real things that matter, uh, individual charity, real gift of self in real conversations and teaching. Blessing students with whatever it is that you’re called to do on a particular day. So it’s that real grittiness, that real granular kind of interaction. And then also that ultimately what we’re doing is presenting the merciful face of Christ because without that.

You know, when he says civilization lacks a solid foundation, he means that if we don’t have Christ as the foundation. Then we’re going to have to come up with something else. And the pages of history are just full of all the other things that people came up with. You know, all sorts of different ideologies and systems and hierarchies and you know, some of the more effective than others, but can we agree that really with Christ as the basis of culture,

Things can be quite wonderful. Not perfect. But as Ben and it reminds us here without Christ, we just don’t have that solid cultural foundation. So that’s it for today, let’s go forward at the granular level. Let’s make a gift of ourselves in the concrete, practical realities of our Catholic school.

In our conversations with each other. You know, conversations with students in going the extra mile to teach. To encourage to challenge us students at the 📍 individual moment by moment level, and let’s remember that no political ideology, social political system. Can replace Christ as the foundation of culture. Alright, friends, everything else is on the website. One Catholic one Catholic

Go and check out the going deeper resource is a free trial at the moment. Poppy details in there. It’ll go straight to me. I’ll send you some login details and you can have a completely free trial of that program. So do that for me. God, bless your friends. Please make sure you’ve subscribed. Uh and that’s it from me. 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.