remembering sean russell

Sean Russell – Rest in Peace

Sean, to me, was always a living surprise. He was different. Original. Prophetic, if reluctantly so. An extremely interesting man. He thought. He really did think hard.

And he tried a lot to pray. It was a desert for him.

He really wanted to believe.

Our great mutual friend, John Collins, when asked was whether he was called after St. John the Baptist or St. John the evangelist, replied “ Ah no. John of God!”

Sean had a lot of St. John of the Cross in him. He stared hard into the dark chasms of lonely doubt and wondered. And gazed.

His God was kind. He just could not believe in hell but he recognised the reality of human and natural evil.

Reality with a capital R. “THE ICY HAND” as he called it.

Job of the bible was like a brother to him. I liked him a lot.

He loved to debate and was very well-read to the point of arrogance. He suffered immensely in his sensitive mind because of his need to be genuine. That is what being a character means, in my book. He was extreme in his strong need to be true to himself. He wanted to be understood.

He loved good music and detested bad music. He loved humanity deeply and compassionately. Though he could not stand me. He tried to help the broken who called on him. He was hospitable to outcasts. Even very, very difficult people.

He passionately despised the wholesale corruption of youth by greed and impurity and deceit. He felt keenly the pain of suicide and that is what he feared most in his lifelong battle with severe depression. This constant blackness honed his spirit and intellect to the barest bone.

His contentment was very bleak. How could he let himself be happy in such a miserable world? He campaigned against torture

Still, he opened his heart to new friends and glimpses of pleasantness. He made a great stew. He loved boogey- woogey.

Mysteriously, he was, despite appearances, exceptionally sane and gently humourous. He kept in touch with reality in its darker aspects. And smiled knowingly. This can be one good source of healing. And do we not all need inner healing?