Spirituality and Ethics
Virtue Ethics - Joy

By Fr. Max Oliva, S.J.

“Joy is the permanent pulsation of the soul.” – G. K. Chesterton

Since we are still in the Easter season, it seems a good time to write about the Virtue of Joy:Easter Joy. In seeking to live an ethical life we want to do so joyfully, not as if it is a pain and a sorrow to do so.

There is a wonderful book called "Journey into Joy," by Andrew Walker. It is subtitled: "Stations of the Resurrection." In the Roman Catholic tradition we have what are known as the Stations of the Cross - 14 moments in the Passion of Jesus Christ. When we do these stations we re-live with Jesus his suffering and death. In "Stations of the Resurrection" we have the opportunity to rejoice with Jesus and his followers in his life after death. Here are some of these Stations. Can you come up with the others?

  1. The Discovery of the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-10)
  2. The Angel Speaks to the Women (Luke 24:4-8)
  3. Jesus Appears to His Mother (Common sense points to this one)
  4. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
  5. The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
  6. The Revelation to St. Paul (Acts 9:3-9)
  7. The Ascension (Acts 1:6-11)
  8. Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11)

The heart of the Christian message is not the cross but the empty tomb; it is resurrection and new life. Consider the story of the father and his wayward son, in St. Luke's Gospel, Chapter 15 - his overwhelming joy at the son's return. Jesus' first miracle was at a party! In Cana. In the middle of his Last Discourse, he said to his disciples: "All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete" (John 15:11).

Connecting this truth to the world we live in, might we say there is joy when:

Young men of color are treated with the same respect as young white men by public authorities.
Employers treat their employees fairly, especially by paying them a just, living, wage.
Employees put in an honest day's work and live their salary responsibly.
People in business have a reverential attitude toward the integrity of creation; not a domineering attitude that seeks merely to exploit it.
Immigrants, especially couples with children, are given safe harbour in the country of their choice and there is a genuine effort made to keep families together by said country.
True peace comes to our world and soon!

(April-May, 2015)


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Homilies Virtue Ethics The Mercy of God Enables Us to Change Our Ways Blessed are the Peacemakers I Love My Country Integrity and Courage Key Mottos Responses to the Feb-March Issue The Real Las Vegas The Reign of God The Reign of God Part II What is Patience? Post-Election Reflection Qualities of Heroic Leadership Where Have All the Prophets Gone? Autobiography in 5 Chapters Joy and Hope A New Year Reflection Living a Virtuous Life: More Readers Response Living a Virtuous Life: Readers Respond Living a Virtuous Life Joy Compassion Civility Living Water Love
The Spirituality of St. Ignatius Ten Ethical Lessons The Our Father The Beatitudes The Ten Commandments Other Topics About Fr. Max Oliva, SJ

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