Forward with faith
On Tuesday, Bishop Robert C. Morlino came through a winter storm to bring a message of faith in God, hope for the future and love and support during difficult times.
The event was a "Mass in Time of Need" for those affected by the end of SUV production at Janesville's General Motors plant, and almost 150 people sledded over snow-packed streets to St. William Church to hear the bishop's message.
Mike Mansell, a member of St. William, appreciated both the bishop's words and his presence.
Mansell, who works for Nelson-Young Lumber in Edgerton, said "all of us are affected" by the job loses at GM.
"He's the shepherd of the diocese," Mansell said of Morlino. "It means something that he has taken time to come pray with us."
While Morlino acknowledged that trauma and fear come with unemployment, he reminded listeners that we are not what we do.
It's something secular advisors and therapists have been telling the unemployed and under-employed since the beginning of the economic crisis.
"So much of our dignity is tied up in our work," Morlino said. "But human beings don't get their dignity from their work. They don't get their dignity from what they do. They get their dignity from who they are as mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters."
More importantly, being a "son and daughter of Jesus Christ" gives people an innate dignity that can never be taken away.
Go forward with faith in God.
"When very precious things are taken from us, like a good job, we can rise to the occasion by freely allowing the circumstances of our lives to be what they are and by simply letting go and saying, ‘Yes,' even though we don't know what the next step will be," Morlino said.
Absolute trust in God isn't easy to achieve, but even ordinary people of faith can find their way there, he said.
Daily prayer, and the habit of giving thanks in both good and bad times will lead believers to the ability to say, "Yes," no matter what the circumstances, he said.
"In order to give thanks when times are tough and when we're hurting," Morlino said, "we have to have the strongest faith that God will not only draw good out of evil but that in the last analysis it will draw out the best in us."