The Role of Sacred Scripture: A Guide for Catholic Educators

Jonathan Doyle, Global Catholic Speaker, discussing the sacred scripture

Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. In this episode, Jonathan emphasizes the transformative power of daily scripture exposure, drawing from his own routine and experiences as a Catholic educator for nearly three decades. Join us as we explore the profound impact of engaging with scripture on personal growth, leadership, and fulfilling our vocation within Catholic education.

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    Welcome Aboard

    Hello there. My friend, Jonathan Doyle, is with you once again. I am pleased you are here on the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, a little bit of daily motivation for Catholic teacher leaders all over the world. Welcome aboard, friends. Today, I want to jump straight in with you and talk once again about this little mini-crusade that I’m on to help you as a Catholic educator or leader realize the incredible opportunity and power of exposing yourself to daily scripture.

    The Power of Daily Scripture: A Personal Journey

    Bible Coffee - Reflect, Record, Renew -Let scripture guide your thoughts and actions
    Reflect, Record, Renew -Let scripture guide your thoughts and actions

    I have been speaking professionally for close to 30 years to Catholic teachers around the world. I absolutely love it. One of the things that I always do is try to make it practical. There is a lot of high-end stuff and a lot of conceptual stuff. But ultimately I always try to finish the staff seminars with practical things. And one of the things I always talk about is the central role of scripture.

    I say to teachers and leaders that my day normally starts around 4:00 AM. I have this watch. That vibrates on my wrist at 4:00 a.m. each day. Used to have an alarm, but Karen didn’t think the 4:00 AM alarm was a great thing for her to experience. So now it’s just a silent alarm on my watch, and it wakes me up each day at four. Do I get tired? Yep. All the time. So I can promise you, my friend, at 4:00 AM, when that alarm goes off, I do not lie there thinking to myself, Ah, this is awesome. It’s 4:00 a.m. I’m not tired.

    I do get tired, and trust me, I do really practice a lot of self-care and wellbeing. And I look after myself really well, in general, I do make this a priority. I’m a morning person and it’s always been a thing for me. The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful coffee machine that’s on a timer. It turns on about 3:30 in the morning, so it’s like fully ready to go at 4. Anyway, you did not listen today to hear about the quality and timing of my coffee machine, but I’m up. And it is this sacred time.

    Scriptural Foundation for Daily Reflection

    Love of the Bible - One essential aspect of God's work is molding and shaping individuals through scripture
    One essential aspect of God's work is molding and shaping individuals through scripture

    I was on a speaking tour in Tasmania last week. I said, He gets the first hour of the day, God gets that first hour. It’s a time for journaling, for reading, for prayer, and for praying for people praying for you guys. But what I wanted to share with you today was just this beautiful line to back up this primacy of scripture. This is from Isaiah 50:4 and it’s a beautiful line. It says,

    “He wakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to hear as disciples – as those who are taught.”

    So for me, I really feel that God wakes me up, and I do have this sense when I wake up that I want to get into my downstairs office and have that time. Because Jesus had disciples and disciples were taught. They would listen to the master, they would listen, listen, and imbibe. And take on the character of the master.

    This is really important because what we’re doing with exposure to daily scriptures is listening as disciples. Do you understand that God has placed you? He’s placed you in this incredible Catholic education vocation. He has placed you in the role of a Catholic teacher, Catholic educator, or Catholic leader in a Catholic school. He wants to use you. One of the ways He uses you is in your natural personality and through the grace that He will develop in you through the sacraments and a life of prayer. One of the crucial things that He’s going to do is shape you through scripture.

    The Impact of Scripture in Daily Life

    Empowered educators - Nurturing hearts and minds through God's word
    Empowered educators - Nurturing hearts and minds through God's word

    The second Vatican Council often talked about this and promulgated a document called Dei Verbum, the Word of God. There are some beautiful lines in that about just how central scripture is. There’s this one particular phrasing where it says it is through the sacred books. The father comes to speak tenderly to the children.

    I always love that line. God’s nature is love, and he wants to bless, guide, correct, and shape us. But can you imagine how much more difficult that is if no one is listening,  but the Supreme, God of the Cosmos, who knows all things, sees all ends, and is wisdom in his nature.

    So why would we not want to do that and expose ourselves daily to the insights and guidance of scripture. Because we’re playing a big game here. These are big stakes. This is the life and eternal destiny of young people, often their families, even your colleagues.

    Scriptural Wisdom in Daily Challenges

    Yesterday I had a friend call me who’s a very high profile business operator. He was really stressed because he’s dealing with some really complex issues, and he was planning to jump on a plane and go to a different city to do this particular stressful thing. And he rang me, we’re talking because I’m a bit of a contemplative. I know that the irony is that I speak a lot, but I actually really enjoy listening, and I listened for a long time.

    I was prompted to remember a famous line. It’s from either Saint Basil or Pope Gregory the Great, “Haste is of the devil.” I remember that from years ago. Some of you Catholic trivia types are going to email me and correct me.

    It’s an interesting law in haste, rushing, being rushed and stressed. There’s always times where we’ve got to push a bit harder and do this, but if haste and rushing become fixed, modality of your life. That’s a problem, but my point isn’t to talk to you today about haste.

    My point is that I heard that many years ago. I had something to draw on. I was able to offer it. Yesterday, the person called me back and said, That was just so helpful. All I could think about were those words. Haste is of the devil, and they made a change. I offer you that because that’s not from scripture, but it works that way. That’s how scripture works.

    Practical Ways to Engage with Scripture Daily

    Bible - Praying with candlelit - Discover peace, and draw inspiration from the sacred scriptures and the tranquility of prayer
    Discover peace, and draw inspiration from the sacred scriptures and the tranquility of prayer

    If you give God that time, he will put something in your heart. A particular verse will shape you. It will change you over time. It really does. Whether it means that you have a little place nearby, you get a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, and you get up before the people, whether it’s late at night or whether it’s stopping in the chapel at school, Whether it’s using an app you can download, the Universalis is probably the main Catholic app, but there’s so many apps out there now which will give you the church’s daily readings.

    So, my friend, can I please encourage you to consider this. Because doing this leadership, speaking to Catholic teachers last week, I was saying we need great leaders at the moment, the church. I think that the Catholic education system has just enjoyed itself in some ways, 30 or 40 years of a system being pretty ideological and political.

    Leadership and Scripture: A Call to Holiness

    Let scripture illuminate your journey towards holiness
    Let scripture illuminate your journey towards holiness

    A lot of people in senior leadership are at times more interested in politics and ideology than in the faith and in evangelization. That’s not everybody, but I think that’s been my experience at the macro level. We need really holy men and women to lead in Catholic education. And we need really holy men and women to lead in Catholic classrooms.

    Whether you’re a Cardinal or a first-year Catholic teacher, there is a leadership role here because you are leading people in a particular direction. Even if you’re in a small kindergarten class, or in our high school class, you’re leading them somewhere in how you interact with them and what you model for them. Scripture is going to help you do that.

    So, my friend, that’s my encouragement to you today. Allow the Lord to wake you up morning by morning, because he wants to speak to you through your exposure and your firm decision to let sacred scripture shape you each day.

    Closing Remarks and Call to Action

    Jonathan Doyle speaks to Catholic educators and leaders
    Jonathan Doyle speaks to Catholic educators and leaders

    Alright, please make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast. It does help me. If you could leave a review, that would be a huge help. And if you want to book me to speak live, I’ve done it. I think now there are over 500,000 people that I’ve spoken to in live seminars for Catholic educators around the world. So whether it’s big conferences, keynotes, or seminars on Catholic identity, Catholic charism, leadership, burnout, resilience for Catholic teachers, growing in faith, any issues related to Catholic education. You can book me to speak live, consultancy projects,; everything’s on the website: If you’re on Instagram, you can find me @jdoylespeaks.

    God bless you, my friend. This has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. And 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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