Divine Appointment: Unlocking Your Role as a Catholic Educator

Jonathan Doyle International Catholic Speaker, Executive Coach and Mentor

In today’s episode of the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, we delve into the profound concept of divine appointments and their significance in the role of a Catholic educator. These divine appointments, where God orchestrates encounters for us to impact others’ lives, are pivotal moments filled with purpose and meaning. Join us as we explore how embracing obedience to God’s will and being attuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit can lead to transformative experiences in Catholic education.

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    Understanding Divine Appointments

    Divine appointment occurs when God unmistakably uses you to be profoundly present in someone's life
    A divine appointment is when God clearly uses you to impact someone's life

    Hello there. My friend, Jonathan Doyle, is with you. Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Today, we are going to talk about the concept of divine appointments and how, if we want to, we can see them happening more frequently. First, what is a divine appointment? A divine appointment is when something whereas God uses you in an obvious and clear way to be present in an important way in someone’s life. That’s a divine appointment.

    It’s where you’ll be doing something and you’ll end up having an encounter where you really have a chance to speak the presence and purpose of God into the life of someone. One of the great things about being a Catholic educator is it is possible to have divine appointments on a pretty frequent basis. No one has ever ruled out a divine appointment.

    Many years ago I did a lot of study on the desert fathers and mothers of the first century in Palestine. Even they would just have divine appointments. Yes, they were living a hermetic life in the middle of nowhere, but still crazy things happened. I guess what I’d like to suggest to you is that the way that divine appointments happen is in proportion to docility to the Holy Spirit. Which means the more that we allow God to function and shape our lives, the more we are used by God in these unique sorts of circumstances.

    Scriptural Insights for Catholic Educators

    Open Bible with light coming down - Daily immersion in scripture empowers us, inspiring new ideas and concepts from God
    Daily immersion in scripture empowers us, inspiring new ideas and concepts from God

    I was on a speaking tour recently. And I just had this wonderful experience of encountering a couple of people going through some challenging times. I was just deeply touched by this story and the hardship that they were facing. I just had a chance to be present for that. To pray for it, and to ask others to pray for it. 

    What I came away from and what I came away with from that experience was just the kind of random nature of where I was and how it happened. The nature of divine appointments—that just things seem to take place.

    What I want to share with you as a Catholic teacher is, God really wants to use you to speak into the lives of students, colleagues, family, parents in unique ways. The way that we can allow that to happen is by understanding pretty significant scriptural hermeneutics.

    A word that really isn’t a very popular word these days in Western culture is obedience. I mentioned this last week that for Catholic teachers, a daily emergent immersion in scripture, tends to give us insights and an awareness that we don’t otherwise have.

    There just seems to be this power in scripture that if we’re soaking in it daily, God just puts ideas in our hearts, concepts in our minds. One that’s been really jumping out for me lately is obedience. I think it’s in the Epistles of John. How do you know that you love God? How do we know that’s true? It’s got a strong relationship with obedience.

    If we love God, we try in our brokenness and our sin, our imperfection, to be what he asks of us through scripture. The more that we gradually press into that obedience and try to bring our lives increasingly under the Lordship of Jesus, then the spirit gets to use this more and more, and we become vessels that He can use more and more. If we are really running our own show with our own agenda. God gets the occasional chance to get a vote, It’s harder for us to be used by God.

    Embracing Small Encounters in Catholic Education

    By the grace of God in your life, you can step into such situations and become a friend to those in need—a divine appointment.
    Through God's grace, you can be a friend to those in need — a divine appointment

    All I want to say to you in this message today is: Please, my friend, in your vocation of Catholic education, do not overlook the small encounters. There’s the smallest encounters, like the look on a child’s face that tells you that something’s not quite right. The fact that you even notice it is a divine appointment.

    It’s God who has sensitized your spirit and given you the heart of a shepherd, the heart of a pastor, and the heart of a teacher to recognize these things. The spirit of God working in you, to be sensitive to the needs of the world through the grace of God that is in your life. You can begin to speak into that circumstance to be a friend to someone in that circumstance. That’s a divine appointment.

    They can be dramatic. You can be on a bus or a plane and have a remarkable conversation with somebody who’s going through a really tough time. They’re the big ones. But divine appointments are happening all day around us, phone calls, text messages, and interactions with colleagues at work.

    Personal Growth and Service in Catholic Education

    To truly serve God, we must expand His capacity within us and increase our openness to His guidance
    To serve God fully, we must grow our capacity and openness to Him

    But really, if we want to go deeper into that experience and really want to be servants of God. Then we’ve got to grow his capacity. We’ve got to grow in our openness to him. I’m on the journey with you, so on that journey. I don’t know when I’ll get there or if I’ll ever get there. But I know that at least I’m trying to walk that road. I’m trying to walk that road with Jesus beside me. I try not to fall too far behind or walk too far ahead.

    I know that the more that our hearts are purified, the more that we try to seek him in scripture, the more that we try to seek him in the sacraments. He will use you, my friend. I think it’s the best game in town to be in a place where God can use us frequently. It makes life really interesting.

    Countercultural Nature of the Gospel

    I do another podcast. I was saying to the people on the other podcast that we live in this consumer-based, late-stage capitalist culture. It’s all about consumption and the self. The gospel is so radical still. It’s just that God loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us, and wants a relationship with us, and wants to give us his spirit. N. T. Wright just put out a new book on this, not just so we can get to heaven, but because of the new heaven and the new earth, that God has a plan, a purpose for us in the future as well. He’s training us now.

    Conclusion: Call to Action and Prayer

    So let’s get started. Let’s pray for the grace to get really good at being sensitized to the movements of his spirit within us. There are so many people that need you right now. There are so many students who just need to encounter you in the smallest ways during a divine appointment.

    All right, that’s it for today. Please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast. Everything you need to know about booking me for staff professional development and all sorts of other stuff is on the website: jonathandoyle.co. And if you’re on Instagram, you can find me at @jdoylespeaks one word, jdoylespeaks.

    God bless you. My friend, this has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. you and I are going to talk again tomorrow.

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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