A very influential man (2)

indexIn a recent post I said I would return to ‘Cry of Wonder’ by Jesuit Priest Gerard W Hughes. It was to be his final book. He died two weeks after its publication. I promised a review.

It is a long book. It sounds like its author. Slow, discursive, self-referencing and needed a strong edit (which it has not received). It also captured my attention. It is built around three themes: Unity, Peace and Holiness

Whilst Hughes claims it is not a biography. It is biographical. He thinks back over the story of his life spotting various themes as they emerged and developed.

However, there is a surprise.

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He walked alone on Christmas Eve

church snowHe heaved on his boots and opened the door. The air was cold outside and flowed over his face with icy contempt. ‘How many more times?’ he thought. ‘How many times had it been so far? More than he could tell’. And it was always the same. They said, ‘You’ll be there first won’t you? So can you do what is necessary? We’ll be along later. You don’t mind do you?’ Would it matter if I did he would wonder. But he didn’t really mind. It was just what had come to be expected. It was part of his work.

But tonight the air seemed colder, the boots heavier and his bag cut into his shoulder.

He closed the gate and turned down the hill until he came to the High Street. There was no one in sight. This was the part he really liked. The cars were parked, already catching their first sheen of frost. There was light everywhere. The shop lights shone out across the street; the council lights had already been shut down. Austerity bah!. Christmas trees lights still twinkled on the sides of the houses. He could take his time. He would not meet anyone.

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