Thought of the Day

July 16, 2014

I want to share with you today a short video on YouTube. It is a photo montage accompanied by a song: glimpses of the most beautiful city on Earth. This is Leningrad. St. Petersburg. Snippets of it as it really was — mostly still is, though some things have changed here and there.

And an old, Soviet song from a voice most dear to our hearts, from our past. The man who sings was a brilliant actor, singer, dancer, and a narrator of the best and noblest in our culture’s spirit. He passed away young and left us memories and images. Films. Laughs. And music.

This is the video: Не дай мне бог разлуки

The song’s lyrics speak of a vagabond and brawler, who has circled the world, sung odes to feminine charms, traveled to many cities, and never lost spirits in hardship. Yet he comes home, he says, to the vastness of breath between the heavens and the Neva, when even his eyes fill with tears. Before this beauty, all is vanity and smoke. “God keep me from anything else,” he says. “God keep from exile. I am saved, I am guarded by this city,” he says. “God keep me ever from causing it pain.”

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August 17, 2012 I see a world not perfect but very, very good. Where the questions of immigration and exit visas and of asylum and refugee camps are not taking up time in discussions of governing bodies. Because national borders are a thing of the past. People come to a place and settle where they …


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  1. I was moved and my heart was touched by the thought on 5/24/12. I have never left a “homeland” as did Brodsky and Maria Catherine, however we all have “homelands” that at times we are called to leave. We find our “homeland” in the presence and love of God and our friends. is the website of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, a congregation of women religious.

    • Roy on June 9, 2012 at 12:28
    • Reply

    [To the thought for June 7, 2012]
    Holy, as you mentioned can have different meanings depending on its use. It is too easy to be confused with words of the ‘elements’ and of the ‘heavenly’. Tying holiness relative to our God and the earthly elements together, I would consider out of a boundary between the two. The word holy to set apart as ‘sacred’, like the ‘Holy Bible’, in this earthly existance is in some measure used to take us from the elementary principles of Christ to the ‘higher’ spiritual plane of heaven, which we hope to attain. Word expressing thought in the elementary plane, which we hope we understand, to word expressing thought in the spiritual plane, which we hope to understand.

    I really enjoy reading your topics and web site.

    And the ravens brought him (Elijah) bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 1Kings 17:6

    1. Thank you, I’m glad. I am not quite sure what you mean by “elementary” here and by “out of a boundary.” Are you saying that conflating the elemental/earthly and the divine/heavenly within a single meaning of one word is inappropriate? Or insufficient?

    • Roy on June 9, 2012 at 14:51
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    Yep. Elementary refers to the elements, physical or earthly. There is a boundary between the earthly and the heavenly. It may be referred to as a chasm. I wouldn’t say word usage is inappropriate. A starting point of understanding is needed to advance the next.

    1. I agree that we need some grasp of concept to use the word. But, while we don’t have complete understanding, perhaps, the starting point of understanding is exactly what we have? As for the boundary between the earthly and what we code-name “heavenly,” I think it’s a mysterious and blurry thing. Not quite a boundary. Where the difference and the sameness of natures intersect — it’s difficult to define.

    • Leonard Swidler on June 13, 2012 at 20:25
    • Reply

    [on the thought for June 11, 2012] Maybe you truly begin to acquire the virtue of humility when you don’t think about it one way or the other – because you are just interested in whatever you did that may have caused someone to offer you praise.

    1. You mean when whatever you do is not driven by the desire for praise? I imagine it’s one necessary prerequisite among others. But most thinking individuals will consider the subject at one point or another, especially if they deal with it by virtue of profession — ethicists, monks, celebrities… No?

    • Y.A.K. on August 18, 2012 at 19:55
    • Reply

    Спасибо, доченька!

    1. 🙂

  2. just stopping by to say Hi MC.

    1. So good to “see” you here, RitW! I’ve been reading your posts too, mostly from my phone on the road. It’s been a whirlwind of a life for me the last few months. Thank you for being there.

    • Sr. Terry on October 27, 2013 at 21:59
    • Reply

    Thanks for the music “thought of the day”. the song “More” really took me on a memory trip! ( I actually still remember all the words to it, although i sing it a bit slower!) Yes, the date is right…the 60’s. I was a newly professed Dominican Sister, and a student nurse. Our chaplain at the convent was Fr. Eugene, OFM Cap, who had been a friend of my parents, and who my mother consulted if she really should let me enter the convent as young as I was, in 1956.
    It was Dec. and Fr. Eugene fell on the ice and broke his arm. Another student Sister and I were assigned to take care of him in his apartment in Rachbauer Hall – help him with dressing, insulin shots, cleaning etc, and with his mail – he had an impressive address list! In those days, in his place, I would hum and sing while I worked, and “More” was one of my favorites! He told me that I would never persevere in the convent if I kept singing love songs! He retired back to Pennsylvania a few years later. When I celebrated my silver jubilee in 1984, I wrote to invite him to come, although I knew, at age 91, he probably would not. He wrote back: “I am amazed that you are still there, and even in Africa! You must be the only prediction I made that did not come through!” He remembered that comment he made to me, 23 years earlier! So, to night, I once again sang “more” to My Love!

    1. Oh,Sr. Terry, what a great story! Indeed. I don’t think I’ll ever persevere in a convent — or in life — if I don’t keep singing love songs! 🙂
      Thank you for this one!

    • Forest A. Ormes on November 5, 2013 at 07:43
    • Reply

    Thank you so much. I prefer questions to pat answers in any area, especially the spiritual.

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