To God be the Glory, indeed! Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 -- 1:00 AM
Under the Gospel Book by Bishop Robert C. Morlino
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

Like so many of you, I hope, I enjoyed an excellent Sunday this past week — with time for prayer and with some time for leisure.

In the first place, I was very happy to have the opportunity to say two of the Sunday Masses in Platteville, first at the local Parish of St. Mary’s, and then at the University Parish of St. Augustine’s. It was great to be at prayer with all of those good people, and I was very encouraged to see the new things happening for the Catholic community on the campus of the UW-Platteville.

Together with some generous donations, and some hard work by students and priests alike, the church at St. Augustine’s is looking more beautiful than ever, and the pieces are in place for continued growth in the faith activities of those students.

After spending the morning and early afternoon at Platteville, I was able to relax with some friends and enjoy the Super Bowl. Thanks be to God for a good game, some good company, and, of course, a Packer victory!

Player expresses gratitude to God

Following the game, it was striking for me to hear that one of the Packer’s players interviewed began and ended his conversation with the reporter by saying, “to God be the Glory!”

The player (receiver Greg Jennings) spoke of the adversity that the team had faced, and of the way they had been tempted to discouragement, and concluded, “to God be the Glory!”

Now, expressions of one’s faith are not uncommon in the sporting arena. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes on the form of mere superstition. At other times we may be tempted to consider demanding of God victory on the field, as if the outcome of a game should be the sole consideration of the Almighty.

But, in this instance, I was struck by what I perceived to be a sincerity in Jennings, simply to show — what I’ve spoken of often — an attitude of gratitude, and to recall that all we do should be aimed at giving glory to God.

In looking more closely at the person speaking, we recognize that Jennings (who happens to be from Kalamazoo, Mich., where I served for many years as a priest) is not a man who was overly endowed with the natural physical stature that would make him a stand-out professional athlete.

He supplements his average height, size, and speed with a tremendous amount of hard work, to the point that it might be very easy for him to take credit for where he is and what he has accomplished. Yet, Jennings doesn’t want us to look at him, nor to give him praise. He wants us to look to God and to give God the glory.

It’s a striking reminder from a Christian man who took his moment in the spotlight to point to one greater than himself. And so it should serve as a reminder for all of us, as we go though our day-to-day lives, working hard I hope, that “win” or “lose,” all that we do and all that we accomplish should be for the greater glory of God. It does not matter how minor or mundane the accomplishments might seem.

AMDG: To the greater glory of God

As one who received a Jesuit education and then served for a time as a Jesuit myself, I recall that traditionally every student, at the top (and sometimes bottom) of every page, was taught first to write the letters, “AMDG,” for Ad majorem Dei gloriam — to the greater glory of God. It was a reminder that each piece of school work being done by the student, no matter how trivial it seemed, should be aimed at giving glory to God.

And so it should be for students, and so it should be for each of us. Whether we cook a good meal, or we complete a full day of work; when we close a sale, or teach our class; when we care for our loved ones or reach out to help our neighbor; all should be done for the greater glory of God, remembering our thankfulness to God for all that He has given to us.

It is a way of remembering God working through our lives, and it is a way of truly giving our best — not only when we’re doing something “church-y,” but always. Then if we maintain this sense of gratitude and of giving glory to God, it will only help us more sincerely to give thanks to Him as a community in our Eucharist (which, of course means “thanksgiving”) and in giving God the glory through our Church.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read this. May God bless you and all of your loved ones! Praised be Jesus Christ!