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)


Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2020

Jesuits West Magazine - Fall 2019

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2019

Fall, 2019

Summer, 2019

Fall, 2018

Homilies Virtue Ethics The Spirituality of Work: At Home Empathy in the Time of COVID-19 The Mercy of God Enables Us to Change Our Ways Autobiography in 5 Chapters Where Have All the Prophets Gone? Blessed are the Peacemakers The Reign of God Part II The Reign of God Key Mottos Qualities of Heroic Leadership A New Year Reflection Civility Compassion I Love My Country Integrity and Courage Joy Joy and Hope Living a Virtuous Life Living a Virtuous Life: More Readers Response Living a Virtuous Life: Readers Respond Living Water Love Post-Election Reflection Responses to the Feb-March Issue The Real Las Vegas What is Patience?
The Spirituality of St. Ignatius Ten Ethical Lessons The Our Father The Beatitudes The Ten Commandments Other Topics About Fr. Max Oliva, SJ

Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.