How The Incarnation Appears in Your Catholic Classroom

How The Incarnation Appears in Your Catholic Classroom

December 18, 2019

Earlier today I spent some time reading the collected works of the rather wonderful Catholic mystic, writer and poet, Caryll Houselander. In today’s episode I want to share with you a wonderful quote in which she helps us more deeply understand what the Incarnation really means for a Catholic teacher. Rather than an abstract concept, the Incarnation is the real and dynamic way in which every Catholic teacher can partner with God in bringing Jesus to birth in every Catholic school and every Catholic classroom.

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How Every Catholic Teacher Can Make The Incarnation A Reality

Well. Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. It’s growing friends. The podcast is growing. It’s really exciting. Only started recently, but watching the numbers come up each day, so thank you. If you’re a regular listener, I want to thank you so much for checking in. I know we’re all so busy, but I didn’t want to do a two or three hour podcast. I may occasionally do some longer interviews with people, but I wanted to give you a little daily shot in the arm. So that you got a little bit of encouragement as you take this journey of Catholic education. What a life that is, huh? What a vocation. What a partnering with God’s salvific action in history. The vocation of Catholic teacher is Catholic principal, Catholic administrator. Often say that some of the greatest work in the Catholic school is often done by the janitor.

Met some amazing Catholic men and women that have done beautiful work in roles outside the classroom home. We’re going to acknowledge that. They often want to get booked to do big conferences. They’re like,” Oh, could you also mention the admin staff?” And I go,” Are you kidding? I always do that.” It’s crucial that we acknowledge everybody that contributes to the wonderful basis and nature of our Catholic schools. Okay, so we’re heading towards Christmas day. It’s not far away. So we’re coming to the end of advent and most of us are winding down towards the end of the year. But I want to keep putting good stuff on your radar. And what I want to share with you today is a beautiful quote from someone I’ve discovered quite recently. Who’s was having a big effect upon me and this is a lady called Caryll Houselander. Some of you may have heard of her.

She died at only 53 years of age. She was writing around the time of the second world war and was a bit of a mystic. Like a lot of our Catholic mystics, she had a lot of suffering in life. She had a pretty traumatic, difficult childhood. But I’m really was given some fascinating supernatural mystical visions. But was very down to earth, she worked, she fell in love, all these sorts of things. But she was really good at this concept of what she called Christing the world. The Christ was trying to constantly come to birth in the midst of the world through us and through the circumstances of our lives. It’s very incarnational, isn’t it? So I’m talking about that because we’re in advent. And what’s advent leading towards? It’s leading towards the incarnation, the infleshment.

So as Catholic teachers, what we’re sharing with our young people is this beautiful awareness. Now I know that we’re heading into the Christmas break, so I want you to file this away. Because this is a concept that yes, it’s linked to advent, but it’s also very much linked to the… I guess the whole liturgical year. We’re always talking about Christ breaking into history. What’s the great challenge that so many of our students faced, if it’s not this idea that Jesus was a wisdom teacher. So many times at schools, the best some people have hoped for is that they think Jesus was a nice guy. He’s holding lambs and he’s apparently nice to everybody. This is what they call that old remote therapeutic dayism model. That God is this remote being who sits up somewhere in the cosmos or the clouds.

He’s therapeutic. His job is to make us feel better and to take away our problems. And the only problem is that that meek and mild Jesus isn’t the one in the gospels. He was capable of that phenomenal gentleness and mercy and compassion. But let’s not forget that the church also understands him to be what’s called the Christus Pantokrator, the Christ Lord of the universe. Last year I had a chance to visit the national shrine in Washington DC. And for those of you that have been there, you see that mosaic on the high altar and people, they either love it or they don’t. Because it is Christ King of the universe. But whether your model of Jesus, your experience of Jesus, is Jesus as meek and mild or Jesus as Lord and King. The crucial thing is that this is a Christ who’s broken into history.

This is a Christ who’s taken on physical flesh. This is a Christ who didn’t sit remote in the clouds and magically snap fingers and bring everyone to heaven. That didn’t happen. He wanted us to experience him so fully that he entered into our physical reality and that takes us to this beautiful quote today from Caryll Houselander. Listen to this. She says, now listen carefully. She says,” Because of the incarnation, our natural life is super naturalized. Love has become incarnate in flesh. God has become human. Because of Christ’s birth a new stream of goodness is se flowing. Holiness has become the completion of nature, the fulfilling of the law.” Love that first line. Because of the incarnation our natural life is super naturalized. That the grace of Christ and then that what’s released when he sends the holy spirit is that our natural human life is elevated and caught up into the pear and the dynamic of who he is.

So what’s advent? Advent is this preparation time for this phenomenal mystery. That this Christ entered into human experience in the most basic and humble of ways. This was not in the world’s greatest children’s hospital. It didn’t have a team of 300 of the world’s best obstetricians. This was a stable, this was a cave possibly. They think maybe a little cave cut into a rock. But cared about us so much that entered this reality. So my friends, as we lead up to Christmas day, I pray that this grace of incarnation is going to be present for you as a Catholic teacher. That it will be a seed that grows in your consciousness, both at Christmas, but then throughout coming year as you undertake your amazing vocation as a Catholic educator. That Christ will come to birth in you. How? Specifically in the classroom, through your words and actions, your gentleness, your… Sometimes being the opposite of generalist, sometimes being tough and challenging and demanding a higher standard and seeing the capacity and the potential in a student and refusing to let them slack off.

You’re being the person that Jesus Christ is coming to birth into the world through your vocation as you partner with him and the grace that he wants to give you. All right, I’m going to pray for you. Father, ask you to bless every teacher listening. Thank you for their vocation. Thank you for their goodness. Thank you for the yes. Like we’re celebrating now that the yes of Mary led to the incarnation, the yes of every Catholic teacher listening to this is leading to Christ being born in classrooms all over the planet. That’s a beautiful image. Thank you Father. Holy spirit ask you to encourage and bless everyone listening. Amen. Friends, do me a favor. If you use Instagram, come and follow me, jonathandoyle47. You can find me there. Encouragement everyday. jonathandoyle47. Do you use Twitter? I know everyone thinks Twitter is evil and it’s the work of the devil. Probably is.

But I get on there and send encouragement to people. So if you want to come and find me on Twitter, @beingcatholic1 . Or you do a search for Jonathan Doyle, you’ll find me there @beingcatholic1 . And of course, if you haven’t joined our Facebook group, come and do it. Passionate Catholic Teachers , it’s a really cool Facebook group. We’ve got well over a thousand Catholic teachers from around the world. So you can jump in there and post questions and share your victories and all that good stuff. So friends, God bless you. Please subscribe to the podcast wherever you’re listening to this right now on an app somewhere. Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher.

Please subscribe and as always, share this with a few teachers. Can you think of a few teachers you know? Send them a link and say,” Hey, subscribe to this podcast.” That’s a big blessing for me, friends. If you could do that, God bless y’all. Hope it’s going to be an amazing Christmas for you. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, and I’m going to have another message for you, my friends tomorrow.

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How The Incarnation Appears in Your Catholic Classroom

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Life offers us so many possibilities. I’ve always been interested in why some people live amazing lives of contribution and success and why so many struggle with lost ambitions, unfulfilling relationships and the status quo.

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People who live passionate, extraordinary and abundant lives just do different things to other people. It’s not rocket science. In this book Jonathan Doyle distills two decades of teaching, speaking and research into eight simple ideas that can change the game plan of your life. No hidden secrets. No empty promises. Just proven strategies for change that actually work.

Experiencing more of Advent in Catholic schools

Experiencing more of Advent in Catholic schools

December 17, 2019

Advent for Catholic schools is such a special time. Despite all the busyness of the end of the school year there is still so much opportunity to share the hope of Christmas in powerful ways. In today’s podcast I share another wonderful quote from Pope Benedict that reminds us all of the beauty of Christmas, the importance of liturgical seasons and how we can all rediscover the ‘star of hope’.

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Helping Catholic Students Find Hope In Advent

Well, hey, everybody. Jonathan Doyle with you, as always, for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Hope you’re doing well. Advent. It’s on now. It’s happening in real time, and Christmas Day is just around the corner. For my American listeners, I hope you’re getting ready for a break. My Australian listeners, this is it. It’s been a long year, but our American listeners probably wouldn’t understand is that here in Australia, we sort of finish up now. We’ve got the long summer break, so a well-deserved break to all these teachers, and hopefully my American friends are going to get a good break, too.

Hey to everybody in the UK, Canada, other places around the world. It’s great to be sharing these daily messages with you. Listen, today’s quote is a good one. We’re talking about Advent and listen, if you’re not part of the Facebook group Passionate Catholic Teachers, please make sure you come and subscribe and join that group, because we’re posting in there all the time, and today I’ve been posting questions about what are you doing in the classroom for Advent? How do you share Advent with young people? So if you’re hearing this today, jump onto Facebook and do a search for Passionate Catholic Teachers and you’ll find the group there. Because I’d love to hear your thoughts about what do you do to help Advent become more real for young people. My son is 10. He’s got a beautiful faith. Really proud of him, and every Sunday at mass, here in Advent, they light the next candle, and he’s really across it. He loves watching it. He loves the lighting. He knows what the colors are. So don’t underestimate these beautiful ritual moments, these seasons that can be wonderful openings to really share the faith with young people.

For example, here’s today’s quote from Pope Benedict. It’s deep, so listen carefully. He says this: “Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory. It brings hope. The purpose of the church’s year is to continually rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.” Isn’t that a great quote? I love this last bit where he says, “The purposes of the church’s year is to continually rehearse her great history of memories.” This great history of memories. So when you’re sharing Advent with young people, it’s bigger than just sort of Advent. It’s awakening in them this sense of time and God active in time. You know, Advent isn’t really an abstract concept. It’s recalling a concrete reality. You know, it’s not a mythical story. This is a reality that God broke into human history at the appointed time. And the Scripture beautifully says that phrase: “at the appointed time,” at the Kairos moment. At the right time, God broke into history.

So one of the beautiful things about our Catholic faith is that it’s bound up in history. It’s bound up in real concrete historical context, and real concrete historical moments. So anything you can do in Advent just to share the beauty of this season, this preparation time, this time of stillness. And as Pope Benedict says, helping us to discern the star of hope. And I was thinking as I prepared today’s message … I’m thinking, “How many of our young people struggle for hope?” They might have been through family breakdown or they’ve seen illness or disease or even just social media and the news cycle fills their heads with this idea that the world is a difficult or a dark place.

An Advent constantly can draw them into this awareness that there is hope, that there is goodness, that there is possibility. So I just want to thank you for it. Anything you can do in this Advent season. Just take the kids to the chapel. Light the Advent candle. Give them a time of stillness and reflection. Read some of the Gospel stories to them. And anything else that you can suggest, so jump on the Facebook group and share this with people. Let us know what you’re doing at the moment.

All right, that’s all I wanted to say. I wanted to share that quote with you. It’s another short message today. Please come and follow me. Instagram: jonathandoyle47. Twitter: You can find me at @beingcatholic1. Just at @beingcatholic1 on Twitter, and you can find the podcast and everything else at BeingCatholic.com.au . Hope you’re getting ready for this break. I’m excited. I’m going to have a good break and then I’m going to be doing the NCA keynote for about 10,000 Catholic teachers in Baltimore, Maryland. So if you’re an American listener, beg, borrow, steal. I mean, don’t steal, necessarily. Get the funding to come to the NCA Convention in Baltimore. It’s going to be a really exciting event. I’m really excited about the keynote. I think God’s put a lot on my heart to share with you all, so I hope you can be there in Baltimore in April. It’s going to be awesome. Friends, please make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Please share this podcast with other teachers.

Can I pray with you for a sec? Would that be okay? Whether you’re driving, operating heavy machinery, maybe turn it off for a sec. Father, I thank You for every Catholic teacher listening. I thank You that You are the God that restores us. You’re the God that carries us when we’re tired. I know there’s many teachers, Father, listening to this, that are weary towards the end of the year. I ask You to carry them through with grace. Holy Spirit, inspire them. Give them the courage, wisdom, and energy to press on through to the end. Blessed Mother, I entrust every teacher listening to this to your immaculate heart.

God bless you, friends. Thank you for everything you do every day in the journey of Catholic education. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, and I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.

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Life offers us so many possibilities. I’ve always been interested in why some people live amazing lives of contribution and success and why so many struggle with lost ambitions, unfulfilling relationships and the status quo.

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Creating a Catholic School Culture

December 11, 2019

Catholic school culture is a crucial aspect of what makes any school a snapshot of heaven or a picture of… well, you get the idea! In this episode I want to talk about how teachers do so much to create Catholic school culture and build an authentic Catholic environment. I also want to share with you another great Advent quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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How Teachers Create The Environment Of A School

Well, hey everybody. Jonathan Doyle with you as always for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Hope you’re doing well. Hope you’re getting ready for the upcoming Christmas season. Busy time of the year for Catholic teachers all over the world in the Southern hemisphere, they’re finishing up the school year. They’re getting reports all done and they’re taking some deep breaths. We are had a beautiful experience yesterday. My eldest child has just finished primary school, elementary school for my U.S. Listeners. And this school has just been extraordinary. It has been the most wonderful, little school and it has just been such a blessing. And for me, it’s kind of ticked every box, you know? Great Christian Catholic schools should be like families, really functional families that celebrate with each other, that experience joy with each other, that definitely have moments of challenge and growth. But this has been a really special school and with a wonderful principal, she’s just done an incredible job of loving young people. That’s what she does. She’s full of joy. She’s full of energy and she loves Jesus and she loves young people and she’s just blessed so many lives. So we had the farewell yesterday. it was very poignant, just to come to the end of a beautiful season. And I just want to encourage you that our daughter, our oldest daughter, when we moved her to this school and where she had been was a challenge for her. And this new school was just such a blessing. So I want encourage you all as you listen, that you’re doing something really important. You’re doing something really special.

How do you think a Catholic school sort of gets built? You know, the church documents talk about the teachers create the environment. I mean, how else could the environment within a Catholic school possibly exist other than Catholic teachers creating it? Think about it. If you took Catholic teachers out of a Catholic school, so the students turned up, there were desks, there were chairs, there were boards, there was maybe some people were just walking around to keep them under control but there were no teachers, then there would be no environment. There would be no expectations. There’d be no love, there’d be no celebration, there’d be no encouragement. So if you take teachers out of that school, there’s no Christian Catholic environment. Isn’t that amazing to realize that it’s actually you that creates the environment of the school. And I know you’re listening and you’re thinking, but I’m not the principal. I don’t get to create the environment. Yes you do. Well, even if I could, the principal’s terrible and the atmosphere is bad and the motivation’s low. Okay, cool. Maybe for everyone else, but not for you.

You’re not like a robot, you still have the chance to contribute what you can contribute. You still have the challenge to smile rather than not smile. You still have a chance to speak a word of encouragement rather than a word of criticism. So we need to worry so much less about what everybody else around us might be doing and focus much more on what God’s trying to do through us. You see, often I used to say in seminars, that if you’ve got 50 teachers in a school and 20 of those have a relationship with Jesus, you get one kind of school. If you’ve got a school with 25 teachers with a deep faith, you get a different kind of school. You get a school with 50 teachers with a different relationship with Jesus, you get a different kind of school. What’s the point? That really what makes a great Catholic school is about the number of teachers in that school that have a relationship with Jesus and have faith and have the Holy spirit working through them. So don’t worry too much friends about whatever’s happened around you. Just focus on what God’s doing in your heart and your life. You know today, many of you know I’ve had a bad accident and I can’t drive for a while, so I walked down to morning mass and I always share that never … There’s no party here. There’s no like, “Oh look at Jonathan. He goes to daily mass.” I do when I can, whenever I can in the world. Why? Because I’m not smart and I just go with the graces and it’s not fancy. I just go with the graces and there’s a beautiful grace in the Eucharist and then praying the rosary afterwards.

Just praying for people and meditating on those mysteries. What’s the point? That to be great Catholic educators, we need grace. Where’s the grace? Well, it’s in the sacraments and it’s in prayer and it’s in stillness and it’s in silence. So to create these great environments, let’s remember that we need to be in places of deep prayer and sacrament because that’s how the grace flows through us to others, right? I want to finish up, we’re an Advent and I’m doing daily quotes an advent. I love this one. Listen to this quite carefully. It says this, this is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, many of you would know Bonhoeffer. Here it is, a prison cell in which one waits, hopes and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside is not a bad picture of Advent. One more time quickly, a prison cell in which one waits, hopes and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside is not a bad picture of Advent. Friends that his gold. Do you get that image? It’s like if you’re stuck in prison cell, there’s a realization that the door of freedom is beyond your control. That there’s nothing you can do from inside to open that prison door. What’s the metaphor? Bonhoeffer’s saying to us that this was the human condition before the incarnation? Yes, there was the profits. Yes, there was God’s action leading people through the Red Sea, leading Israel out of bondage. That’s true. But they see images that we were still slaves to sin and we couldn’t free ourselves and we couldn’t get out. So really, like I said in a previous episode, CS Lewis said that the incarnation is a daring raid on enemy held territory. And Bonhoeffer reminds us that really Advent is this realization that we can’t open the door ourselves, that someone is coming to open the door, someone is coming to throw open the door of bondage and open the door of freedom, that’s Advent. Christmas day is this liturgical reminder every year that he is come and that freedom has come and that he has opened the way to the father. And that’s good news to share with young people. That is good news to share with Catholic students.

So I hope you like that quote. I hope it’s useful for you. I want to wrap up. We always keep these nice and short. Okay, I’m going to pray with you. Father, I just pray for every Catholic teacher listening to right now. Bless them, guide them, sustain them. Holy spirit, flow through them in Jesus name. Amen. All right, come and follow me. Instagram, jonathandoyle47. Twitter @beingcatholic1 , and of course, come and find our Facebook group, The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. It’s a great group. Love you to come and join there. That’s it for me. Make sure you’ve subscribed. Please share this with other Catholic teachers. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, and I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.

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Life offers us so many possibilities. I’ve always been interested in why some people live amazing lives of contribution and success and why so many struggle with lost ambitions, unfulfilling relationships and the status quo.

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Daily Spirituality For Catholic Teachers

December 10, 2019

In today’s episode I share with you a powerful insight from Pope Benedict about how advent can be truly central to Catholic spirituality for teachers. Each day it can be easy to overlook the huge number of ways in which God is trying to communicate with us. What we assume may be random or regular occurrences can actually be powerful ways in which God is speaking to us. Take a moment right now and listen in to discover a deeper Catholic spirituality for teachers.

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How God Is Speaking To You Every Day

Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Thank you for the pleasure of your company. I hope you’re doing well wherever you are in the world. We don’t normally date the podcast, but we’re heading up towards Christmas. How you all doing? Personally, I find this to be quite a stressful time of the year. There’s a lot going on. I remember last year I was sort of surprised. I don’t very often get sick, and I found I got pretty run down on those last few days because you’re trying to do everything, and then you get this sort of come down after Christmas Day. And that’s why Advent’s so important, isn’t it? It’s so important because it reminds us to take some time and some space to have some rest so that we are prepared and ready for this special, special thing that’s happening, this beautiful fullness of the incarnation, Christ coming as a little child. It’s a moment of hope. It’s a moment of breakthrough.

Listen, I want to make sure that you’re getting the daily email from us, so we do a little daily meditation for Catholic teachers all over the world. If you’re not getting it, do me a favor today. Email me, daily@beingcatholic.com.au. That’s D-A-I-L-Y. I want you to send me an email so we can make sure I’ve got you on that list. Listen, today’s quote that we put out on the email was a beautiful quote from Pope Benedict where he’s talking about the fact that during this time of Advent, God often just comes to us in the small circumstances of each day. This has been on my mind for a while. There’s a great book and I can’t remember the author. The title of the book is called Simply Open. It’s a book that I came across when I was on holiday a few years ago, and it’s just a really simple idea that, I don’t know if you do this, but so often we can feel that when we go to pray or that we’re maybe at mass that we are desperate for God to speak to us, and that He’s going to somehow suddenly speak in an audible voice and give us an exact answer to something.

Now, He may do that. That is possible. That does happen, but what this book’s premise was is that if we are simply open, if we are aware and present to all of what’s happening in our day, then God may be speaking to us in a whole range of different circumstances. It’s such a simple idea, it’s almost hard to explain, but Pope Benedict was talking about it in today’s quote as well. It’s that in all the little circumstances of our day, God may be trying to communicate to us. So as a Catholic teacher, I want you to think about as you go through your day today, as you go through your workday, look for those moments, both of struggle and beauty where God may be communicating to you. So the question is well, how do you filter that? How do you know what’s God speaking and what’s not? Look, I like to think that whatever moves us towards love, joy, peace, the fruits of the Holy Spirit, is almost always God interacting with our lives. And then so people would go, “Well, so if it’s not that, if it’s not those things, it must not be God,” and I go, “Well look, He wastes nothing, because even in the difficulties, even in unpleasant circumstances, He can still be using those circumstances to draw us closer to Him in moments of dependence and prayer.”

So all I want to do is get you to think today as you go through your day about the small interactions you have with people, moments of blessing, moments of friendship, moments of encouragement. Somebody might encourage you or just speak to you in a way that really lifts your spirit. You might just have a moment with a student that’s particularly beautiful. Let’s begin to pivot in this Advent season to realize that these can be moments in which God is really speaking to us. It’s a beautiful thing to move from, “Well, God never speaks to me and I’ve never really heard God speak,” to going, “He’s speaking everywhere. He’s speaking in the beauty of creation. He’s speaking in the privilege of teaching young people. He’s speaking in the friendships I have with other teachers. He’s speaking in the encouragement I might get from a parent,” all these different ways, so let’s be sensitive for those moments and trust that He is speaking.

All right. I hope that’s a blessing to you. Please make sure you’re doing some self-care in this Advent season. Please make sure you’re getting some time just to look after yourself and be in stillness and allow God to speak to you. All right, God bless you. That’s all I wanted to say. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Please make sure you’ve subscribed and I’d love it if you could share this episode with someone else. God bless you, friends. My name is Jonathan Doyle, and I’m going to have another message for you tomorrow.

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About Jonathan Doyle

Life offers us so many possibilities. I’ve always been interested in why some people live amazing lives of contribution and success and why so many struggle with lost ambitions, unfulfilling relationships and the status quo.

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Subscribe to Podcast

on Apple Podcast

on Android

via RSS

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People who live passionate, extraordinary and abundant lives just do different things to other people. It’s not rocket science. In this book Jonathan Doyle distills two decades of teaching, speaking and research into eight simple ideas that can change the game plan of your life. No hidden secrets. No empty promises. Just proven strategies for change that actually work.

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Today I want to share with you a beautiful quote from Frederick Beuchner. It’s a wonderful reminder of just how incredible this season of Advent really is. As Catholic teachers it’s so easy to be caught up in all the demands and complexity of trying to get things finished before Christmas. In this episode I want to share both the incredible truth of this season and how we need to be deliberate and proactive in pursuing it’s promises and meaning.

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The Doorway of Silence to Experience Advent

Well, hey, everybody.Jonathan Doyle with you once again. Welcome to The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Excited to have the pleasure of your company. It’s been awesome. I checked the stats for the podcast, it’s growing really fast, so thank you to all of you that are sharing it. Thank you to all of you that are taking the time to listen. Please make sure you’ve subscribed, but a big thanks from me. Okay, a little bit of housekeeping. Please make sure that you are on the daily list. So, we have a list that goes to thousands of Catholic teachers every day where I do a really cool little quote. It’s very simple because I know you’re busy. So would you do me a favor today? Email me daily@beingcatholic.com.au. Do that daily@beingcatholic.com.au, so I can get you on that list so I can give you some encouragement every morning.

So I want to do that. And what else? When you’re on that list, you’ll see this little banner for the NCE, a convention in Baltimore, Maryland in April, 2020. It’s just me and 10,000 friends. There’s going to be roundabout 10,000 Catholic teachers in Baltimore in April, 2020 for the NCA convention. And guess what? I’m doing the keynote. It’s just an amazing privilege. I’m so excited. You know why I’m excited? Because I don’t have to worry about it, the Holy Spirit’s going to do it. It’s the best thing. I just do a bit of prep, I pray, I work hard, and I’m telling you this because this is what I believe is happening in your vocation as a Catholic teacher. See, in your vocation as a Catholic teacher, the Holy Spirit takes your natural gifts and elevates them. It’s the coolest thing ever. Your natural gifts and just elevates them beautifully.

So that’s why I’d love you to come. For my American listeners, however you have to do it, get the funding, get to Baltimore in Maryland. So just go to ncea.org and find out all about it, because I’d love to see you there. And please, If you get there, come and say hi. For my American listeners, Australians are pretty laid back, so if you come up out of the audience and say hi, that would be the best thing, all right. So come and say hi. I hope to see you all there. For my Australia, U.K. listeners, I hope you can be there too. It’s such a special event. Now, today, I’m sticking with this Advent theme. Let me share this beautiful quote with you from Frederick Buechner. Listen to this. “In the silence, there is a sound so faint that for all you can tell, it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”

There’s a lot in that. The beautiful expectation that comes in the silence. It’s like the whole of creation was bending forward, leaning in, for this moment when God was going to act. What I’m saying to Catholic teachers in these recent episodes is, for most of us, end of year is busy with schools. We understand Advent’s a thing, but we don’t invest in it really as a thing. We just don’t. And I get that because we’re so busy and so much is happening, but what this beautiful quote is reminding us of is that we have to make time for the silence. We have to go into the silence deliberately. Two keywords, deliberately, specifically. It won’t come to us. Grace builds on nature and God needs our cooperation. He’s not going to do anything to us.

Now, he is just the most wonderful respecter of our freedom, so that he will allow us to ignore Advent. But if we choose not to, if we choose to come into the silence and be present to what’s happening, then he can do the most extraordinary things. So what’s happening for me is this connection with the Advent experiences. What it does is it just makes you realize what a mind blowing, outrageous thing, the incarnation and the Nativity really is. This is God coming after his kids. Maybe this is helpful, right? A few years ago, my little boy, he’s now 10, and I adore my son, he’s my only son. Our daughters, who I love dearly, but the special relationship’s with my boy. When he was really little, he went missing. He was very young, I forgot what age you would be, but he was very little, and we couldn’t find him.

And long story short, he’d thought it was kind of funny to go and hide somewhere at the back of our property, but we couldn’t find him, and I was literally on the phone to the police. And the absolute terror that I felt, this genuine terror that he had walked off somewhere, disappeared, who knows? And there is something in the heart of God for us because we’re his kids. And what the Incarnation is, what the Nativity is, is the heart of this perfect father. And I know many of us in life may not have had a perfect father and this is hard for us, but we have to let go of our perceptions of our own earthly fathers and their imperfections. We’ve got to operate in forgiveness there, but the heart of the father is very different. It is just such a mind blowing heart of love for his kids.

And what I felt when my son went missing is a fraction of what the father in heaven felt when his kids were missing, when his kids were lost. Because, do you understand that we couldn’t save ourselves? Do you understand that there was nothing that we could do to save ourselves? There is nothing that we could do to earn our way into heaven? When Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden, friends, there were those flashing swords because they couldn’t get back in. And what this beautiful season of Advent is about is allowing us to realize the passion and the heart of God to come looking for us. So I pray that in the next few days you will find a way into your school chapel or a local church and you will just sit and you’ll be like, “Father, I want you to speak to my heart about this season. I want you to convict me of how much you love me. I want you to convict me of what you’re doing in this season.”

And I think if you do that, he’s going to honor that so beautifully. Look, behind all this is that I just believe that as Catholic educators you just give so much. I keep saying on stage, “You are professional givers. That’s what you do. You give and you give and you give and you give.” And really there’s just this incredible need to receive. And I want you to find the silence because you have so much to give. And the Holy Spirit wants to move through you so powerfully in the hearts of these precious young people that you teach every day, but you can’t give from this empty well. So bless you, friends. I hope you’re going to go to the silence. I hope you’re going to find his presence there. He loves you so much.

All right, come and find me. Instagram, jonathandoyle47. If you’re on Instagram, please come and find me jonathandoyle47. Why? Because I’m publishing there every day and I’m encouraging people. Please, on Twitter, I want to come and find me, @beingcatholic1, or just search for Jonathan Doyle. You should find me there. Look, if you’re on Facebook, come and just do a search, Passionate Catholic Teachers. Do a search for that. You’ll find the group. Come and join us. Everything else is on the website beingcatholic.com.au. Please go to that website and you can find out about how to book me to speak. And, of course, what else? There’s the Going Deeper program there, which you can take a free trial of, which is awesome.

So, last things, please make sure you’ve subscribed and could you do one last thing? Would you share this with people? Would you grab this link wherever you’re hearing it and send it to some other Catholic teachers and say, “Hey, check this out.” God bless you, everybody. Father, I pray for every teacher listening. Holy Spirit, just pour into their hearts, restore them, bless their families, ease their burdens, help them to be full this Advent and Christmas season so that they can just continue to give so beautifully to your precious young people in Jesus’ name. Amen. God bless, everybody. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, and I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.

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About Jonathan Doyle

Life offers us so many possibilities. I’ve always been interested in why some people live amazing lives of contribution and success and why so many struggle with lost ambitions, unfulfilling relationships and the status quo.

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