Renewing Vocation Daily: A Spiritual Journey in Catholic Education

Jonathan Doyle Catholic Educator and Speaker

Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, where Jonathan Doyle delves into the essence of Catholic vocation amidst the complexities of daily life. Join us as we explore the dynamic nature of one’s call, renewed each day, and the pursuit of God’s will in every moment. Through insightful reflections and practical wisdom, discover how to navigate the path of Catholic education while surrendering to divine guidance.

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    Embracing the Dynamic Journey of the Catholic Teacher

    Jonathan Doyle International Catholic Speaker shares his insights to Catholic Educators
    Jonathan Doyle International Catholic Speaker shares his insights to Catholic Educators

    In this episode of the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, Jonathan Doyle explores the dynamic nature of the Catholic teacher vocation, emphasizing the daily renewal and the importance of being led by God in every moment.

    Hello there! As always, Jonathan Doyle with you. Welcome aboard to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. All listeners and new friends are welcome aboard. When I say old listener, I’m not making any assumptions about your chronological age. I was at mass yesterday, and they were talking about a big event coming up, and they gave us the whole young and hot thing. A bit of a trope.

    If you’ve been around Catholic circles long enough—friends, housekeeping—please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast. If you like what you hear today and you’re not a subscriber, please hit the subscribe button. It makes a big difference so please leave a comment. If you know how to do that on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, or wherever you are, then go and check out the links. Instagram: @jdoylespeaks and what else? Website:

    Catholic seminars, keynotes, leadership consultancy work, and executive coaching are all there on the website. If you haven’t seen the website, go check it out. It’s very fancy—very fancy indeed. Friends, we’ve had a big week. Monday’s episode was a long one. Yesterday, I tried to come in under time. We talked about increasing the desire for God in the hearts of our students.

    Unveiling Catholic Vocation in Daily Life

    Bright Sunbeam Forest Path at Dawn

    Today, I’m going to be well-behaved and get you on your way, nice and quickly. I’m going to share with you today another beautiful insight from a very special book called “The Joy of God” by Sister Mary David. She has gone home to her eternal reward; she died younger than expected from cancer not very long ago. She’s just got this beautiful collection of her writings, her letters, and her thinking. But let me share this with you today because I think it speaks to exactly who you are, your life, and my life. Are you ready? Here it goes. She says, 

    “We mustn't think of our call as something programmed in advance by some computer in the sky. It's a dynamic thing. And it's important to keep the attitude of one who is called anew each day. Of one who tries to be led by God at each moment.”

    I’m going to try to be really well behaved here. But this makes my brain explode because I often think about God’s will. It’s something that’s been a huge part of my intellectual and theological journey because the nature of my personality is that I’m quite a binary guy. I’m like, It’s this or it’s that. Monday, I’ll discover shades of gray—not there yet. And this idea that there’s one thing that God has for us to do in every single circumstance—how do we have free will, and how do we discover the will of God?

    Exploring the Catholic Vocation: Understanding God's Infinite Intelligence and Our Choices

    Something that’s helped me just thinking about it the other day. It might’ve been when I was surfing; it was, if you can conceptualize the moment of God as infinite intelligence, which God is. God is many things. But an attribute of God is infinite intelligence, not constrained in any form. intelligence so far beyond understanding that we will never comprehend it, obviously in this life. That’s where I think Sister Mary David says we can be careful not to conceive God as some Skynet, some kind of computer in the sky; that’s programmed vocations in our lives.

    When you think you’ve got superintelligence, what helps me is to realize that God can see every possible choice we could make at all times. Are there any theologians out there? Please feel free to correct me. You can just send me a message through the website, But God can’t be surprised. It’s not possible to surprise God. Therefore, logically, it would seem to me that God can perceive every possible choice we could make in every situation at all times in real time. 

    Navigating the Complexity of God's Will

    Compass and Catholic Bible

    So where’s human freedom in that? I guess the short answer is that we can choose any one of them, with a relatively theoretically infinite number of choices in every situation. But amongst those are the moral nature of God and the fact that rationality and reason are attributes of God, and God has created those things. It would seem fair to suggest that there is always, and at every moment, an ideal choice. And perhaps that ideal choice is what we might conceptualize as the will of God; it is the most appropriate, beautiful, and correct choice.

    As we go through life, we’re battling with postlapsarian realities, right? postlapsarian, after the lapse, after the fall. Sin brokenness, our own double-mindedness, and our own sin. We encounter these vocations in situations, but at every moment, there’s this conflict between the understanding and pursuit of the perfect will of God in every circumstance and our own broken nature.

    Embracing Imperfection: Lessons for Catholic Teachers

    God's Helping and Guiding Hand

    So this is the Christian life, right? Is that how we conform ourselves to the nature of God? And we become like his son; I would imagine that we increasingly make better and better choices at each moment. Maybe this is what the saints are doing. And even the saints were imperfect, so Christ alone, right? Christ alone is the exemplar.

    Let me try and tie this together because, for some of you, you’re probably choking on your cornflakes. Your brains have already exploded with questions like what, where, who, and when. This is a bit tedious, right? But listen to it again: we mustn’t think of our call as something programmed in advance by some computer in the sky. It’s a dynamic thing, and it’s important to keep the attitude of one who is called anew each day. Of one who tries to be led by God at each moment.

    I want you to really begin to pray for the idea that your vocation is renewed each and every single day. Each and every single day. You are called once again to be a Catholic school educator. Once again, you are called to be a Catholic school educator. Every single day, God can do something new and remarkable through your life. Each and every single day.

    And then this last line: we need to be people who try to be led by God at each moment. Which means that in the infinite possibilities that unfold every single day, the movement of our hearts is that God would lead us each day, in each moment. So each conversation, each lesson that we teach, each interaction we have with our colleagues, with parents, with students.

    So the way that I think we go about this is that we begin to live a life imperfectly, where we are asking the spirit to guide us at each and every moment. And friends, I do this, but I fail at it. I sense my own limitations all the time, but at least I know that is my prayer. And my own. I guess human nature will fail at this, but that’s at least my desire in that ballpark. 

    Newman's Wisdom: Finding Clarity in Catholic Vocation

    Portrait Painting of Pope John Henry Newman
    Portrait Painting of Pope John Henry Newman

    So in summary, today, a vocation is renewed each and every single day. So when you wake up tomorrow, He’s inviting you back into your vocation again. It’s never static; it’s never pre-programmed. It’s, you know what? I want you to be a Catholic educator again today. Jonathan, I want you to be a father again today, a husband again today, a content producer again today, a speaker again today, and a writer again today. Will you choose it again today? And Jonathan, if you choose it, will you try and find me in each and every moment of it?

    There’s a beautiful quote from John Henry Newman where it says: It’s the quote about God doesn’t waste anything, and Newman says,

    "If I am in perplexity, my perplexity may serve him."

    It’s quite interesting because John Henry Newman had such a phenomenal intellect, such an incredibly intelligent human being. But the fact that he could write about being perplexed, that he could write about being confused, the fact that he could sometimes not know which was the right choice.

    But then, Newman was reminding us that even our confusion, even our uncertainty—earlier in that quote, Newman says, “I desire to serve you. I don’t know if I am, but I think that at least my desire to please you does, in fact, please you.” So even if we get it wrong, if the movement of our heart is to want what God wants, if that’s our desire and we get it wrong, I think it puts a smile on God’s face.

    Surrendering to Divine Guidance: A Path for Catholic Educators in Vocation

    Catholic Teacher Walking and Strolling Down the Forest Path

    So tomorrow, my friend, get up and understand that God is inviting you again into your vocation. And in that action, he’s also inviting you to try and discover his will and purposes in each moment, but he does it through the vehicle of dependence. In the vehicle of surrendering our hearts, minds, and wills to him in each moment. Come, Holy Spirit, guide us, direct us, and prompt us in each moment. And we fail, then we have the sacraments, and we get up again and try again, and we do this all the way home to heaven.

    It’s a long walk but we are all walking home together to heaven, and we get one more day at a time. We just keep walking. That’s all he asks of us. Just keep walking. God bless you, my friend. I hope it’s helpful.

    Please make sure you’re subscribed and come and say good day on Instagram: @jdoylespeaks. And if you’d like to book me to speak or find out more about what we offer to Catholic education all over the world, you can find that at

    God bless you. May the Lord carry you through another day, and may he use you powerfully for his ends and purposes. This has been a 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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