Author Archives: Gil Bailie

a solitary Christian…without earthly hope

Rereading what Hans Urs von Balthasar (quoting in passing Dietrich Bonhoeffer) has written brings to mind the role that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is now performing for the Church and the world. “There are moments when a solitary Christian undergoes … Continue reading

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Funny Truths

Writing in the 1980s, Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) quoted a humorous couplet from the German poet, Wilhelm Busch. I don’t read German, and I don’t have the German original, but the English translation I have doesn’t quite … Continue reading

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The Limitless Landscape of Poetry

This lovely Richard Wilbur poem gives up new secrets every time I come back to it. Two Voices in a Meadow A MILKWEEDAnonymous as cherubsOver the crib of God,White seeds are floatingOut of my burst pod.What power had IBefore I … Continue reading

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Standing in awe . . .

Imagine reading a splendid poem – using the adjective with all its richness – and being “struck” by its loveliness. It arrests the reader. It takes him to a new place, as we say. It enchants him. Or say one … Continue reading

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Modification of Mortification

“The modification in the spiritual attitude that is contained in this transition from patristic to modern piety can be described as the change from a world-condemning ‘dying to the world’ to a world-affirming ‘dying to the world.’ In other words, … Continue reading

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Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground – Episode 1: Bells & Whistles – The Technology of Forgetfulness

This is a presentation Gil Bailie gave at the 2018 conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. “The rural peals of the nineteenth century, which have become for us the sound of another time bear witness to a different way … Continue reading

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Western Genius

It is a good time to recall what the Stanford professor Robert Harrison has written in his fine book Juvenescence , “The greatness of Western civilization, for all its disfiguring vices, consists in the fact that it has repeatedly found … Continue reading

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Imagine…a virus stalking through the modern State

On a virus of a different sort, no less mortally lethal and considerably more morally so: About the fate of post-Christian Western cultures G. K. Chesterton cannot be thought overly optimistic. But in one small way – having to do … Continue reading

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Love your neighbor as yourself…

“In vain we shall search the world before Christ for this kind of outlook of man on his fellow man; we shall find it neither in Plato, who speaks nobly of Eros, nor in the treatises of Aristotle and Cicero … Continue reading

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Enthusiastically Ecclesisatic…

“For myself,” said Origen, “I desire to be truly ecclesiastic.” He thought – and rightly – that there was no other way of being a Christian in the full sense. And anyone who is possessed by a similar desire will … Continue reading

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