This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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The anointed—Christians as Christs

Because we are, by title, not identified with Jesus, in which case our faith would be a ‘Jesusism,’ we recall what was said earlier: that we do not simply keep the commandments taught by Christ, to love one another, etc., but that we are ‘anointed’ and thereby sacramentally identified with Christ’s office and the function that is inseparable from that office.

If one really absorbs what was just said, the reality of our affiliation is profoundly more than personal. It is a matter of direct participation in a divine office via unction, and if we were so inclined we could, with some precision, translate ‘christianity’ as ‘unctionism,’ and while we are not actually suggesting such a revision we point it out because of the emphasis it reveals, insofar as what is essential in Christianity.

If this seems like an exaggeration of the reality, we can cite in agreement the third century Doctor of the Church, St. Cyril of Jerusalem: “As ‘partakers of Christ’, therefore, you are rightly called ‘Christs’, i.e., ‘anointed ones’: it was of you that God said: ‘Touch not my Christs’ (Ps. 104:15)”, to which he also adds that, “Once privileged to receive the holy Chrisma, you are called Christians.”

Augustine, as if in agreement:

“Let us rejoice, then, and give thanks that we are made not only Christians, but Christ. Do ye understand, brethren, and apprehend the grace of God upon us? Marvel, be glad, we are made Christ.”[1]

We recall, on this point, that chrisma is in the Church the holy oil (Sactum Chrisma) by which we are anointed at various stages beginning in Baptism. This is summarized in the Catechism:

Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life. The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the HOLY Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off ‘the aroma of Christ.’[2]

[1] Tracts on John, XXI, 8.

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1294.

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