“A wonderful feeling” is the expression found in number 1 of the basic text of the Pontifical Academy for Life, entitled “A Theological Ethics of Life” published in 2022. The document includes several examples of experiences of joy to introduce an ethic of life. But what joy and what life are we talking about? While it is obviously legitimate to experience joy also through feelings, Christian joy cannot be reduced to a feeling. How can joy be a criterion for developing an ethic of life? We will first take up the notions of “life” and “joy” from a theological and biblical perspective so as to extract from them some criteria for discernment also to relate to certain questions addressed in the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
I would like to offer my testimony regarding Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI, drawing from my personal experience. “What can I do for you? What can I do for all of you?” were the words with which, on August 1, 2019, he welcomed me to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Thus began a series of personal meetings, seven to be precise, until January 2020, together with a correspondence that continued until his death.