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).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

What sources may we use to formulate the doctrine?

We have four sources that we will draw from here: 1) Scripture, 2) Theology, in the speculative sense of what is accepted and taught by the Church, 3) the writings of the Saints, and 4) accepted Liturgical epicleses, hymns, prayers, etc.

Reliance on the first three sources named in this list is common and should not surprise anyone, nor would anyone question such an approach. The fourth item, on the other hand, may seem less familiar but to us is equally valid. We recall here the maxim lex orandi lex credendi, ‘the rule of prayer is the rule of faith.’

This saying, although well-known, is not always well-acknowledged in the West, especially since the ‘rationalization’ of Catholic doctrine since Aquinas. What it implies is obvious: that these hymns and procedural prayers, and especially the epicleses, carry a certain validity on the grounds that the Church has seen fit to incorporate them into the liturgy itself—no small thing considering the fact that the liturgy is the center of Church life and is basically Catholic theology in act. To ignore what the Church says while at prayer as if that is something different than what it says in its treatises is to create a division that is as unnecessary as it is dangerous.

Thus, we ask with Prosper of Aquitaine (5th century AD) that ‘the law of praying might establish the law of believing,’ or, as it is stated in the Catechism, section 1124: “The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.” We intend nothing other than to acknowledge the liturgy as a legitimate mode of spiritual teaching.

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