The spiritual imagination of Edward Hays comes alive in each of the forty reflections on joyful living found in Chasing Joy: Musing on Life in a Bittersweet World. Joyful living is our God-given right, says Hays, as he challenges readers to dig through life's miseries and darkest pains to discover the goodness God continues to promise all of humanity. Hays uses common joys and struggles of ordinary lives, blending them with some of the great wisdom figures and traditions of our world to offer a wide variety of delightful hints and spiritual exercises for cultivating deeply rooted joy.
Father Edward M. Hays was the author of more than thirty books on contemporary spirituality. He was the co-founder and moving spirit of Forest of Peace Publishing and founding director of Shantivanam, a Midwest center for contemplative prayer. He served as a chaplain of the state penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, parish priest, and spiritual director. Hays spent extended periods of pilgrimage in the Near East, the Holy Land, and India while remaining a prolific writer and painter. Fr. Hays died in 2016.
There are few people who consistently give us both depth and breadth – while never closing that clever and humorous edge as does Ed Hays.
- Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
The writings of Ed Hays have helped me find innovative ways to pray historically and to live in a meaningful, joy-filled manner.
- Joyce Rupp, author of Open the Door and many other books
Edward Hays is a connoisseur of joy who has given us many examples of the central place of this virtue in his earlier books. We have been tutored by spiritual teachers in Christianity, Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, Judaism, and Native American traditions about how to practice joy in our daily lives. Hays alludes to some of these in this manual for exuberant living. He reminds us that ‘untamed joy is euphoric; it is ecstatic, taking us out of ourselves and into God’.
- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, SpiritualityandPractice.com
Fr Ed Hays is in the vanguard of spiritual writers who remind us over and over that God is in our lives, in the midst of our messy world, that Christianity is about incarnation. The task of twenty-first century saints, Ed Hays reminds us, will be to find God in the ten thousand things of the here and now.
- Rich Heffern, National Catholic Reporter