I only met Gerry W. Hughes once in passing. But his writing and his work in spirituality have had a significant impact on my life. There are a handful of books which have remained etched in my memory. I can remember which year I read them; where I was; what was happening in my life.
For each of the books that makes it onto this list – it is because they had a significant impact on my view of something. Whilst I have read all of Gerry W.’s books over the years, it was God of Surprises which had the most impact. The Uncle George caricature is perhaps the best known of his stories in this book. But for me, the lasting resonance has been the Principle and Foundation.
Reading God of Surprises was the first time I had stumbled across this short paragraph from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. It seems strange now that this text, so much a part of my way of thinking, that there was ever a first time!
Gerry W. was also instrumental in setting up the Llysfasi workshop. This workshop made it to South Africa (brought here by Gerry W. and Graham Chadwick in 1994). Going on that workshop in 2000 was my first introduction to giving spiritual direction. The seed was planted then for my own desire to teach spiritual direction.
Gerry W. Hughes passed away yesterday, at the age of 90. His work has been a tremendous gift to so many.
Hamba Kahle Gerry! Rest in Peace.