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The Cosmic Gamble
Episode 125th May 2021 • The Catholic Teacher Podcast • Jonathan Doyle
00:00:00 00:09:49

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There comes a moment in the life of every Catholic teacher when you have to decide whether or not you are going to take the cosmic gamble. And what exactly is the cosmic gamble? Well, that's the focus of today's episode where we learn from one of the greatest Catholic mystics that there is a deep secret to allowing God to transform your vocation as an educator and your entire life.

Transcripts

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Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you.

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Once again, welcome back to the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

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Great to have the pleasure of your company for just a few moments.

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I'm feeling good this morning and it's not just the caffeine.

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Had a good weekend.

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He went and did a sort of 200 kilometer bike race.

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In center in the, one of the wine regions of central new south Wales.

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Did that, uh, with one of my brothers, which is a lot of fun.

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So 200 kilometers on a bike feeling pretty good, actually recovered pretty well.

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But, uh, great to be back in my routines.

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I wanted to talk about that quickly, uh, routines, routines of prayer, rhythms

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of life are such a crucial thing.

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For Catholic educators, look at them a Nastic tradition.

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I mean, why do you think.

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That if we go right back to the start of Catholic history, that monasticism,

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you look at the desert fathers and the desert mothers in Palestine in

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the early first and second century.

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What was it?

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That drew people to the monastic life.

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And why do they structure it the way they did?

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You know, why.

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Why didn't they just structure monastic life with people kind of just sitting

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around and doing whatever it took their fancy at any particular time.

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Why were they structures in place?

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Well, I think it's because there was a deep awareness that as humans,

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we tend to thrive under structures.

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That, uh, that really resonate with the truth of who we are, the kind of

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rhythms of daily life and existence.

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So I mentioned that because I went away and, uh, You know, we

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had three or four days away on this, uh, for this cycling race.

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And coming back home and getting back into my daily rhythms of.

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You know, praying the divine offers rosary in the morning, that sort of stuff.

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Oh, look, it's weird.

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I know it's going to sound crazy to some people.

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It's just like, it's just such peace that comes from being back in

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the rhythms and routines of life.

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So I really want to encourage you today.

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First as a Catholic educator, look at the rhythms and routines in your

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life, particularly around prayer.

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And that's the focus of today's quote.

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Now, remember if you're not getting the daily quote.

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teachers around the world.

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And it's just a beautiful quote.

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And a little bit of encouragement.

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Right now, whatever you're doing.

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Go across to one Catholic teacher.com O N E one Catholic teacher.com.

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pop your details in there.

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And we'll get you this every day, but listen, let's do it.

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Here's today.

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This is from one of my all time favorites, probably a real

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spiritual father, to me, St.

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John of the cross, the great Carmelite mystic.

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Of 16th century Spain, believe it or not.

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I once thought that I was going to be a Carmelite.

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Monk, true story.

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People that see me on stage and meet me.

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They think you in a, in a silent Carmelite monastery.

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Absolutely.

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I spent a lot of time in the Carmelite monastery.

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Uh, near Sydney.

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And, uh, there's a funny story.

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The, uh, the Abbott.

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Knowing me very well after a long period of time.

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Famously said to me, Jonathan, you do not have a vocation to religious life.

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And as I am the head of the order in this country, you can

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take that as coming from God.

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I'm ambiguous.

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Right.

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Really unambiguous.

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So that allowed me to, to enter into the vocation that, uh, that God had for me.

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And, you know, I learned in that process that, uh, you know, God does move in

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the things that we are drawn towards.

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He he's.

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Sometimes discernment in the spiritual life can seem difficult, but I look back

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and I think, you know, God had a plan, had an invitation for my life and, uh,

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As he has for yours.

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So let's do this in John of the cross.

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Let's listen to this beautiful quote.

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He says, let those eaten up with activity.

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And those who imagined they are able to shake the world with

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their preaching and other outward works, stop and reflect a moment.

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It will not be difficult for them to understand.

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That they would be much more useful to the church.

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And more pleasing to the Lord.

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Not to mention the good example I would give to those around them.

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If they devoted more time to prayer.

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And to the exercise.

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Of the interior life.

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No.

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Good.

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The last bit there.

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You know, the amazing example, the usefulness, the pleasing,

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this to the Lord pleasing.

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This is that a word?

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If they devoted more time to prayer and to the exercise of the interior life.

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Look, this is something that I've been banging on about for ever.

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I got to give it a name.

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It's kind of like the great cosmic gamble because what most people seem

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to do and what many Catholic teachers seem to do is they're swimming in

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busy-ness because of the complexity and challenge of the vocation.

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And all the expectations and pressures that keep getting added all the time.

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So they assume that time taken for prayer.

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Is going to be a withdrawal from the limited reserves they have and

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therefore, pray if it happens at all is pushed way down the list.

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So what I have learned over many years and what St.

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John of the cross is trying to tell us.

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Is it's actually the inverse of that belief system, the

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truth of the Christian life.

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Is that time devoted to prayer time, given to stillness and silence.

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Actually empowers the vocation.

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I mean, look at the life of Jesus, right?

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I mean, it's very simple.

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We, whatever he did is, is he was teaching, you know,

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There's a reason the holy Spirit's shaped the gospels the way they were shaped.

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So we see Jesus doing particular things, you know, they're called,

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you know, hermeneutics, right?

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So you look at the fact that Jesus worked.

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I mean, why include that?

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Why include the fact that Jesus was a carpenter?

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Why even have that in there at all?

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What was the purpose of that?

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Well, it was to remind us that work is important.

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Anything Christ did.

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He ennobled and he elevated and he was teaching us.

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It's important.

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So he's teaching us that food and wine matter and winning Feaster

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kind of celebration matters.

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He's teaching us that healing matters and forget.

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He teaches us all those things, but look at his life.

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He teaches us that prayer and solitude matter.

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Why?

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Because he did them all the time.

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How many times in the gospels do we hear about Jesus coming away to a lonely place?

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And they can't find him because he's up before Dawn.

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Having this time of intimacy solitude.

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Uh, intimacy and solitude with his father.

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So again, John of the cross is reminding us that we need to take the cosmic gamble.

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We need to take the gamble that if we.

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Devote more time to prayer.

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And stillness and contemplation that he will take care of the

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rest member of the Bishop.

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Peter from Boise, Idaho taught me.

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Whatever you do, don't make Jesus unemployed.

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Okay.

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Don't let him be unemployed.

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He is.

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Capable.

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Of taking you exactly where you need to go and getting you through the day.

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So for me.

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As a, you know, Excuse me.

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I share this because.

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I hope it's useful to you, but basically.

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You know, I have morning prayer here, sort of I'm a very early riser.

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So I get that done before the kids are up.

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I have morning prayer.

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And, uh, for me, that's the divine office in the rosary.

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And, uh, you know, I love the rosary because I get to pray for people.

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It's intercessory, powerful intercessory prayer.

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It's.

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John Paul T used to call it a school of prayer.

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Where we learn to pray by praying with the blessed mother and then what I do now.

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I work a lot and I work at all sorts of different times, but then most days

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now is pretty much every day, unless there's something significant going on.

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I will escape at about, uh, the moment it's usually around one 30.

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And I get to my local church.

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At about one 45.

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And then I get an hour of Eucharistic adoration, contemplation

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meditation, silence, stillness.

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I use noise, canceling headphones.

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Because.

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He just, you do this a lot, the little noises get to your, so I

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have that and I just spend an hour in deep, deep contemplation, and

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then I go and do the school pickups.

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So I know you're listening, going well.

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That's lovely for you, Jonathan.

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You know, I, I, I have to, you.

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Be here at the school and I don't have that kind of time.

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You will find something that works for you.

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It's not as if God's there going, Hey, look, I want everybody to pray

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except you, because I know that you can't because you're really busy.

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He wants, he just, he wants us to pray because he wants to be with us.

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So, whatever the structure takes for you, I just want you to think

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about taking the cosmic gamble.

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The gamble that despite how busy you are.

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The step into deeper prayer will sort of reap a massive harvest for you.

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I know that's hard.

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And, and of course, you know, that let's be honest.

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The devil does not want this to happen.

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You know, the devil does not want this to happen.

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The devil will do everything within his power.

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To distract you to convince you that this is just, you know,

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unnecessary or impossible.

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Press on, press on, press on, press on the spiritual life is really.

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A pretty serious business.

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It's not for the faint hearted.

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If you want to go deeper in the Lord, if you want to go deeper in your vocation,

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if you want to be a greater blessing to young people, if you want to be a Saint.

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And this is what we need to do.

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All right, that's it for me.

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I want to wrap up, uh, please come across one Catholic teacher.com.

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Everything's there.

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Uh, go and take the free trial, go to the resources page,

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check out everything there.

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Hit subscribe, share this with a few people.

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thank you for what you're doing.

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I really hope that God's using you in the lives of young people and their families.

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All right.

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That's it for me today.

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My name is Jonathan Doyle.

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This has been the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

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And i'm going to have another message for you tomorrow