He was my first professor at graduate school that summer of ‘79 and he taught “Theology and Spirituality” – a broad title for a class taught by a slender man. Kevin Seasoltz, a Benedictine monk, was a contemporary Renaissance man. He spoke without wasting one syllable; every observation was a tightly phrased, perfect comment. He integrated science, literature and theology, applying theory to real-life circumstances. We read six books in six weeks and wrote six papers. I was busy – and attached myself to his every thought.
“The evil of the day is sufficient thereof…” no need to seek suffering in an attempt to prove one’s attention to faith. Life will provide suffering enough. Man, that was an understatement. And on leadership: “to be in a position of authority requires one to “author” life into others;” lead them with grace and humility. “Surround yourself with excellence” and you will succeed in your work and be a better person. Do not be afraid of the giftedness of others – they do not threaten, they bless.
People who touch our lives, even briefly, can have a sustaining presence and impact on us. Kevin may never know how his ideas, comments or advice influenced me - and others - for decades. I still seek people who are smart, wise, compassionate and kind. Kevin was right: I am enriched, not diminished.
Kevin died last week. He enjoys now the magnificence of a new life he often reflected on: “life does not end, it is just different.” May he enjoy the company of angels and saints, friends and family who have gone before him and may the God he served so faithfully, welcome him home.