This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
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 Marian mystery

As with Christ, we must speak here not of Mary as a person but of the Marian Mystery, or Mary as a sacred reality manifesting itself in human history. It is our hope that what has been said above regarding mystery in its true sense will help the reader now. What we are concerned with is not a thing we cannot understand, but rather, to quote Augustine, a thing that ‘aided by Divine Grace, one has never finished understanding.’ In other words, mystery signals here as elsewhere that we are not dealing with a kind of absence of knowledge or an alternative to it, but rather an opening that leads to a kind of knowledge that is inexhaustible and therefore impossible to concretize in formal, systematic language: an object for contemplation more than systematization.

We know that when it comes to the mysteries of the faith, the church teaches and occasionally dogmatizes, but she never claims that either her teachings or her dogmas are comprehensive in the sense of having said everything that there is to say about the matter.

To put it another way, Catholic doctrine is not ‘conservative,’ as we might tend to think, but ‘additive,’ or we might even say ‘elaborative,’ in the sense that, because we are dealing with the enunciation in history of an infinite Truth, there will be no end to the development of Catholic doctrine. It is ‘whole,’ in the sense that a child is ‘whole’ and not lacking anything in order to be what it needs to be, but in the same sense neither is it ‘complete,’ nor will it ever be until Christ, the keystone,[1] completes the edifice at the end of time.

Therefore, while we must always be careful that we do not contradict what has been taught by the Church, there is nothing heretical, in itself, in offering certain elaborations on what it has taught in order to arrive at conclusions that are reasonably implied but not stated explicitly.

[1] The keystone is the stone placed at the center of an arch, which completes and stabilizes it, and would obviously be of a unique shape inappropriate to fit anywhere else. This is why it has been suggested that ‘keystone’ is a more accurate translation for the familiar Gospel texts about Christ being the ‘cornerstone,’ since the imagery of the arch is more illuminating and, from a logical standpoint, makes more sense. Peter is, after all, the Rock on which the Church is built, and it is left to Christ to ‘become the keystone’ that brings the structure to perfection.

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