I can’t believe that I spent so many years treating the Holy Spirit like a distant relative. In today’s podcast I want to share with you some of my own recent experiences where the Holy Spirit has guided and prompted me in ways I could not have anticipated. The Holy Spirit and Catholic education is a powerful force and your role in that relationship is crucial.
Inviting The Holy Spirit To Be With You Every Day In The Catholic Classroom
Well. Hey there everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast . I hope you’re doing well wherever you are in the world. I want to share a really simple idea with you. I find the more that I speak, and I’ve spoken now live around the world to over 400,000 people. I really only have a couple of ideas. I often joke I don’t know why people invite me back, because I’ve only really got a couple of things to say. I might sort of say them slightly differently, but I just think that the great truths about our vocation, about education, about the faith are so simple. They’re not often easy, but they’re very simple. I want to share a very simple and really important one with you today.
Over the last year or so, speaking to thousands of Catholic teachers, I have been talking more about the Holy Spirit. Often in the Western church, in the Roman Church, He’s kind of the forgotten member of the Trinity. I often joking and I say He’s like that uncle that you see at Christmas. You’re like, “Hey, like you, Holy Spirit, guy. How are you doing? We should catch up sometime and call me.” It’s like that, isn’t it?
But it’s interesting in the Eastern church, in the Orthodox churches, the Holy Spirit is really important, very central. So often for many of us with the Holy Spirit, we kind of get it. We’re kind of like, “Yeah, yeah. The Holy Spirit is this kind of thing that sort of just does stuff, and I’ve been really learning so much about the Holy Spirit.”
This is a person we’re talking about. This is a person. This is a person. This is a person with unique characteristics and qualities. The Holy Spirit exists to do so many wonderful things in the lives of Catholic teachers, and my sense is that what many of us are missing out because we’re not inviting the Holy Spirit. My gosh, the politeness of God, I think there’s a book title in that. John Paul, too, used to say about the Catholic church. He said, “The Catholic church never imposes. She only proposes.”
The Holy Spirit only ever comes when invited. It doesn’t tend to kick down the doors and demand anything. But when we invite the Spirit, and isn’t it beautiful that Jesus said that He would send us the advocate, He would send us the Paraclete, He would send us the counselor? Jesus even said, I mean, how amazing is this? Jesus said, “It is better that I go,” this is Jesus we’re talking about, and that the apostles were like, “No, we don’t want you to go,” and He’s like, “But it’s better that I go. Because if I don’t go, I can’t send you the advocate.”
I’ve always loved. I always found, it’s so powerful. So here’s what I want to say to you today. What I’ve been doing increasingly over the last 12 months is ensuring that every single day, I invoke and invite the Holy Spirit to be present in my day. So, I pray something like this. At the end of say, I’ll get up and I pray the Divine Office, and I’ll pray a Rosary, which I love doing. I just love these beautiful prayers of the church that anchor me in centuries of tradition, and all these beautiful men and women who throughout the centuries have prayed this beautiful prayer.
Recently, I was in Nashville, and we had the incredible privilege of going to the mother house of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia. We were so blessed to be allowed to sit with them during the Divine Office and Rosary. Here I am back in Australia, praying the Rosary today, but I know that my prayer, my praying of the Divine Office, my praying of the prayer of the church is united with their prayer on the other side of the world. So beautiful.
So I prayed that, and then my prayer is simply to invite and invoke the Holy Spirit to come into my day. I pray something like, “Holy Spirit, I give you my intellect, my reason, my will, my creativity. I ask You to guide each thought, each word.” Then, I really asked the Holy Spirit to give me one specific thing. What is it? Promptings. I say, “Holy Spirit, give me promptings, prompt me.”
I want to tell you, you can hear it in my voice how excited I get, it’s happening. All throughout the day, I get these little ideas and, for me, it’s like it’s an idea to message someone, or to text someone, or to invite someone, or to organize something like a dinner or a board meeting or something just to bring people together. I want to just share, I’m going to finish now, but very quickly, I’ve been helping somebody, a senior kind of business person who’s working through some transitions, and this is a person of faith.
Yesterday after pray, I was on my laptop, and I somehow ended up led to this interesting book on discernment, and I bought it on Kindle. The minute I started reading it I’m like, “Oh my gosh, maybe this is for me too, but this is definitely for him.” So instantly, I jumped on my phone, messaged him and said, “Hey, I think this book’s for you,” and I got an email this morning when I woke up and this guy’s like, “OMG.” He’s like, “This is like, you read my mail.” He said, “This book is incredible. It is a massive blessing.” Then he wrote these words, he said, “Jonathan,” he said, “God has just worked through you in the most powerful way.”
You can hear it in my voice, that’s not about me. There’s no pride in that. I’m just like, “Wow.” I’m like the Holy Spirit put something on my heart, put something in front of me, and then instructed me to give it to someone else. I don’t know if you believe what I’m saying, but I just want to promise you, I’m living it. I’m experiencing it, the beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit to prompt us.
So, all I want to do is say to you as a Catholic teacher, start your day with that. Every single day from now on, begin with that prayer, and then stay alert, and you will find these little promptings, these little directions, these little movements of the Spirit that will guide you. Might be a particular student, or in a creative idea, or something you’ve got to talk to someone about. So, don’t go through your day relying on your own capacity, your own insight.
So remember saying Augustan said, “Grace builds on nature.” So what the Spirit does is it elevates our giftings. It elevates our natural capacities. It elevates our intellect. It elevates our creativity. So, why would you want to go through a day missing that stuff out? Okay. So, that’s what I want you to do. Make sure that you’re inviting the Holy Spirit every single day to guide you as a Catholic teacher.
All right, that’s it for me. Do me a favor now. If you’re hearing this, jump on Twitter and go to @beingcatholic1, or just search for Jonathan Doyle. Come and give me a follow, and send me a DM, say hi. Introduce yourself to me there. I’d love to say hi. If you use Instagram, pull your phone out right now, and just go to jonathandoyle47 . I do some great stuff there. I’d love to share with you, of course, the Facebook group, Passionate Catholic Teachers. Just type in, “ Passionate Catholic Teachers” to Facebook. You’ll find us there.
The last thing, of course, is go to BeingCatholic.com.au and look at the Going Deeper tab, right? Going Deeper. That’s got an amazing three-week free trial. You’ll love that. So, check that for me. As always, would you do this, would you share this with someone? Grab this link and flip it to a few teachers right now, because you don’t know if this is going to bless them as well.