Okay, honest moment: I’m not a Catholic School teacher. Actually, I didn’t even attend Catholic school. I am, though, teaching and making my way in teaching with Catholic college. To me, we’re one and the same. So I was absolutely pleased with this new book from Ave Maria Press, Called to Teach: Daily Inspiration for Catholic Educators. Written by the insightful and witty Justin McLain, this book works like a devotional, with a simple and cogent reading each day of the year.
The reflections in Called to Teach are incredibly helpful to Catholic educators. As a Catholic educator himself, Justin understand the complexities and nuances that get irritate us, confuse us, and get us down. As remedy, he provides profound spiritual guidance and understanding, and sometimes includes practical advice to help shape the core, conscience, and spiritual life of any Catholic educator. Here’s an example from Today’s reading in Called to Teach:
Give ear to my words, O Lord; understand my sighing. – Psalm 5:2
There is no emotion that any human has ever experienced that Jesus did not likewise experience. Christ always knows everything that we are dealing with in our lives. He knows our trials, our difficulties, our weaknesses, our challenges, our temptations, and so forth (not to mention the more uplifting experience that we have). Sometimes, particularly during those busy and stressful times that we educators are bound to encounter within the course of the teaching profession, there are no words to express how we feel, and all that will suffice is an ineffable sigh. Allow that sigh to transition into a prayer to the Lord. He wants us to be complete (a feat that only can be achieved by his presence in our lives), so he will readily come to our aid when we call on him. Jesus is more than some sort of talk show host or radio personality — he is uninterested in ratings or publicity. He simply wants us to come to him, admitting what is imperiling our souls, in order to conform our lives to him. Speak to the Lord because he is constantly listening.
Called to Teach, as a devotional is one of a kind. We all know Catholic educators, and each of them, no matter their age or field, spiritual guru or novitiate, they will really benefit from Justin McLain’s work, reminding them just how they are distinctively Called to Teach.