Joe McHugh finds God in the people, things, and events of everyday life. He does not shy away from the secular culture in seeking God, but incorporates each element of daily life into a contemplative practice.The stories in this book show us how to search for the living God. McHugh, a spiritual director, guides us on a spiritual journey where we encounter God in the hidden and mundane workings of our lives. He pushes us to go deeper and writes with an edginess that keeps us engaged and hungering for more.
Startled by God: Wisdom from Unexpected Places offers a different way of seeing God in all things. Reminiscent of the spirituality fostered by Richard Rohr and other contemporary mystics, Joe McHugh writes out a tradition infused with the basics of Jesuit and Trappist theology, yet fully planted in the day-to-day workings of the contemporary world. He does not shy away from the secular culture in seeking God, but incorporates each element of daily life into a contemplative practice.
McHugh makes ample use of stories to show, rather than tell, about our search for the living God. These stories enable us to see and feel, not just understand, allowing us to step into them with our imagination and discover ourselves lurking in the twists and turns of their plots. Building on his work as a consultant and spiritual director, McHugh guides readers on a spiritual journey where they encounter God in the hidden and mundane workings of their lives. He pushes us to go deeper and writes with an edge that keeps us engaged and hungering for more.
This book will challenge readers to look beyond the ordinary earmarks of spirituality and venture into new ways of seeing, new ways of encountering God and others with the eyes of faith. It’s for the seeker in all of us, encouraging a way of life rooted in the divine while being fully immersed in the real world.
Joe McHugh is a spiritual director, retreat leader, writer, and workshop facilitator with a unique blend of experience in religious, educational, and business environments. Based in the Twin Cities, McHugh is the former executive director of the Loyola Spirituality Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He runs Spiritual Direction Twin Cities and teaches in the spiritual direction certification program at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. He conducts workshops and retreats across the country.
After graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy, Joe earned a master of arts from Columbia University, where he also did doctoral work in organizational development, and received a master of divinity from Woodstock College in New York. McHugh is a regular contributor to the Soul Matters” column in the National Catholic Reporter, and also writes for America magazine, the Twin Cities Business Journal, and Presence magazine.
Far from didactic, his style of writing is experience-based, conversational easy reading. Poignant anecdotes illustrate and emphasize gems of wisdom gained and offered. Though simply stated in this straight-forward presentation, his words can be mined and treasured for their contents' depth, immediacy, and practicality.
Frances O'Dell, OSF, Catholic Library World
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