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 doctrine of the fall and ritual absolution

Perhaps it is helpful to recall at this point that the doctrine of the Fall presupposes a state of imperfection in all men. If we use this as our starting point, all that we have said makes more sense.

It is, again, not so much that the warrior is somehow more unfortunate than others simply by vocation, but that the vicissitudes of his vocation amplify the spiritual dangers that are, at any rate, already present to all people everywhere. War subjects the soul to trials that are unknown under normal circumstances and puts men through a trial by fire. While the glory is therefore amplified for the one who prevails, the flipside is that the danger of spiritual collapse is amplified as well.

To situate this within the Catholic context, we could point out that the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which provides absolution from sin, is part of the normal spiritual life of all believers, even the saints. Our of all of the vocations possible for man, we would suggest that Reconciliation is most crucial for the warrior due to his direct contacts with evil in its most extreme manifestations.

Does this make the warrior ‘unclean’, either morally or spiritually? Of course not, for as we have said, the saints themselves were often known to frequent the confessional as often or more often than the weakest of sinners. Priests themselves have their own confessors, and they avoid the confessional at their own risk. To need confession is not to be weak.

The state of sin is a basic condition for man, and it is not a special insult to point out that certain vocations require constant spiritual maintenance in order to continuously repel the assault of evil. The greater the struggle, the more it is always considered necessary to return frequently to the refuge of spiritual purification and light.

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