Violence & the Sacred Episode 9: Interview with René Girard 1997

This is an interview Gil Bailie made with René Girard recorded in Los Angeles in 1997.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 16: Reflections on Flannery O’Connor’s Short Story “Revelation”

Gil Bailie’s Reflections on Flannery O’Connor’s short story Revelation. Recorded in Sonoma, California in 1990.

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Democracy Devoid of the Sacred

The desacralizing effect of the Jewish and Christian revelation which René Girard so masterfully explicated is not to be confused with an ideological agenda which enshrines in the place of meaningful moral and political norms saccharine bromides — tolerance and inclusion — designed to detach political rights from moral responsibilities. The distinguished Italian philosopher Agusto Del Noce understood this.

“In the Western world we have reached a ‘democracy devoid of the sacred.’ Some will reply, resorting to a standard rhetorical device, that this is precisely the [meaning of] progress. This kind of democracy marks the transition to an ‘open society,’ which accepts and respects all forms of thought and enables religion to become purer by separating politics from religion, and so on. In actuality, this democracy ‘devoid of the sacred’ coincides with absolute atheism. But is this new atheism a new foundation of values, or does it mark the impossibility of speaking in terms of values?” 

Agusto Del Noce, 1970
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Website Update: Podcasts & Streaming Media now online…Hurray!

The recent troubles with our streaming media and podcasts are resolved. We have moved our web hosting service to a new company and we’ve received excellent support for the transition. There will no doubt be a few remaining glitches that I would appreciate being informed of if anyone visiting our site discovers something that does not work as it should. Please use the ‘Contact Us’ link to let us know.

We will also be taking time to do some website renovations, especially in the store. It has been six years since our current website and store was constructed. There have been significant improvements made available for sites such as ours and we are looking at taking advantage of these.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we attempt to make our work more accessible and our website less user grumpy.

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Update: Website Streaming Media & Podcasts Not Working…sigh

We were informed today of the death of Brian Carpenter, the owner/manager of the small webhosting company from which our website and podcasts are made available. This explains the lapse in tech support we experienced with our recent streaming media problems. Brian had always been our ‘go to’ tech support guy when problems arose, and was unfailingly prompt and helpful. I already miss him.

Six years ago we were seeking an alternative to the corporate webhosting company we had been using for some time. We had discovered that they were soliciting pornographers as clients. It is well known that porn is one of the most lucrative and active parts of the internet, so being on the look out for corporate profits, it is understandable that this is an area they would want to exploit. Gil and I, however, felt that this company was not one we or our donors would want to be supporting.

I found Brian’s company stated up front on their website that they would not host any ‘adult content’ on their servers. When I spoke to him about this in our first conversation he asked why this was important to us. I explained the nature of our apostolate and he replied that as Christians we should try to reflect our beliefs and values in our business dealings just as we do in all other areas of life. He said he was a Sunday School teacher himself. We have been pleased to be his clients for these past six years.

What happens next is unclear at present. There has been some suggestion that the company will be sold to another webhosting service. In any event, we will attempt to find a similar hosting service that we are proud to be part of (if possible). It may be another week before our streaming media and podcasts are back in operation. Thank you for your understanding and patience. And please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Brian Carpenter.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 15: The Emmaus Road Initiative – Easter In The “Meantime”

The Emmaus Road Initiative

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009 Gil Bailie traveled around the country giving a series of monthly presentations and follow-up discussions for religious educators, pastors, parents, and all those committed to fostering Christian faith and bringing it to maturity. This series of eight talks was called The Emmaus Road Initiative.


As Enlightenment modernity has been gradually but relentlessly dissolving the sacramental sensibilities that are so indispensable to authentic Christian existence, post-Enlightenment postmodernity has been forfeiting the anthropological sensibilities which are enshrined in the formal sacraments and without which civilization will inevitably collapse. Without sacramental sensibilities we lose a sense of grace, and without Anthropological sensibilities we lose a sense of nature – human nature. Whatever particular tasks Christians may be called to undertake, their perennial task is to recognize and bear witness to the relationship between nature and grace – and between this world and the next. The Eucharist is where the Christian both participates in this mystery and is nourished for the work of witnessing to it.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 14: The Emmaus Road Initiative – From Self To Person

The Emmaus Road Initiative

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009 Gil Bailie traveled around the country giving a series of monthly presentations and follow-up discussions for religious educators, pastors, parents, and all those committed to fostering faith and bringing it to maturity. This series of eight monthly talks (from September to May) was called The Emmaus Road Initiative.


“The knowledge of what it means to be a person,” wrote Romano Guardini, “is inextricably bound up with the Faith of Christianity.” The word “person” entered into the vocabulary of Western culture only after Christian theologians, in speaking of the three Persons of the Trinity, gave the word persona a philosophical profundity never before associated with it.  In achieving this milestone in theological anthropology, the theologians of the fourth and fifth centuries laid the groundwork for a revolution in human self-understanding which it may be the special privilege of 21st century Christianity to rediscover.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 13: The Emmaus Road Initiative – Why Did It Take The Resurrection To Save Us?

The Emmaus Road Initiative

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009 Gil Bailie traveled around the country giving a series of monthly presentations and follow-up discussions for religious educators, pastors, parents, and all those committed to fostering faith and bringing it to maturity. This series of eight monthly talks (from September to May) was called The Emmaus Road Initiative.


Without the bodily Resurrection of Christ, Christianity would not exist, and where this article of faith is diminished – by condescendingly referring, for instance, to Resurrection “experiences” – faith itself slowly dissolves or degenerates into some form of Gnosticism.  The antidote to this and the key to rediscovering the gigantic meaning of the Resurrection is to recognize its Trinitarian backdrop, and for that in this session of the E.R.I. we will turn to the Holy Saturday theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 12: The Emmaus Road Initiative – Why Did It Take The Crucifixion To Save Us?

The Emmaus Road Initiative

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009 Gil Bailie traveled around the country giving a series of monthly presentations and follow-up discussions for religious educators, pastors, parents, and all those committed to fostering faith and bringing it to maturity. This series of eight monthly talks (from September to May) was called The Emmaus Road Initiative.

CD Recordings and downloadable MP3 audio files of these presentations are available on our web store. We also are making them available here on our website below and as podcasts.

While the traveling road show of the Emmaus Road Initiative ended in 2009 we continue to pursue new initiatives to bring our work to the world. The latest of these projects (and an outgrowth of the Emmaus Road series) is “God’s Gamble: The Gravitational Power of Crucified Love” published by  Angelico Press and available from Amazon.

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground Episode 11: The Emmaus Road Initiative – Why Did It Take The Incarnation To Save Us?

The Emmaus Road Initiative

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009 Gil Bailie traveled around the country giving a series of monthly presentations and follow-up discussions for religious educators, pastors, parents, and all those committed to fostering faith and bringing it to maturity. This series of eight monthly talks (from September to May) was called The Emmaus Road Initiative.

CD Recordings and downloadable MP3 audio files of these presentations are available on our web store. We also are making them available here on our website below and as podcasts.

While the traveling road show of the Emmaus Road Initiative ended in 2009 we continue to pursue new initiatives to bring our work to the world. The latest of these projects (and an outgrowth of the Emmaus Road series) is “God’s Gamble: The Gravitational Power of Crucified Love” published by  Angelico Press and available from Amazon.

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