A Survivor’s Guide to the Synod

by Deacon Nick Donnelly

synod2After the difficult events of the Extraordinary Synod in 2014, I know I’m not alone in feeling a sense of anxiety and powerlessness about the Synod that opens this weekend, (4th October). Cardinal Burke is clear that we are facing a pivotal time in the history of the modern Church. He told Polish television:

“We’re in a time of crisis in the Church, a critical moment in which we may have to give our all to safeguard both the truth of the Faith not only for our own salvation but for the salvation of our world and for the generations to come”.

My own experience confirms Cardinal Burke’s sense that the Church is facing a grave crisis. I am hearing about directly, and reading about, Catholics becoming ill, disillusioned or driven to desperate measures by the chaos caused by the two Synods.

Friends tell me that the constant news of cardinals questioning, even brazenly contradicting, doctrines of the faith has resulted in relapses into clinical depression. On social media I’ve read Catholics openly considering joining the traditionalist group, the Society of Saint Pius X [SSPX] because they, mistakenly, conclude that the Catholic Church is no longer One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. Other Catholics are considering leaving the Church altogether because the procession of so many cardinals and bishops betraying Christ’s explicit teaching is making them lose confidence in the claims of faith being true.

Crisis? What crisis?

I wonder whether anyone in Rome, or in our National Bishops’ Conferences, is considering the harmful effect that witnessing so many cardinals and bishops contradicting fundamental doctrines is having on faithful Catholics? Instead of cardinals openly engaging with the concerns and distress of faithful Catholics, many either flatly deny that there is any cause for concern or engage in episcopal ‘happy talk’ that hides the reality of the situation. This episcopal denial of the grave crisis facing the Synod is starkly contradicted by their uncritical acceptance of the wide-spread rejection, even ridicule, of the Faith by ‘Catholics’.

Many of the Synod submissions from Bishops Conferences emphasise rejection of the Church’s marital doctrine and sexual ethics, as if such dissent was a valid position in the Church alongside fidelity to sacred doctrine. A creeping exclusion of the Church’s doctrine from the Synod consultation is seen in the absence of key truths of the Church’s marital and sexual doctrine in the submissions being made. For example, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales summary of responses to their Synod consultation makes no reference to ‘chastity’, ‘modesty’, ‘indissolubility’, ‘virtue’, ‘holiness’, ‘sin’, ‘confession/reconciliation’ – it doesn’t even mention ‘procreation’. But instead the Bishops’ Conference has chosen to repeatedly refer to criticism of Humanae Vitae, the prohibition of divorced & re-married receiving Holy Communion and doctrine on homosexuality.

Many faithful Catholics come to the Ordinary Synod on the Family with a weary sense of being disempowered and excluded by a Synod consultation that has ignored fundamental doctrines and selectively highlighted dissent. The failure of many cardinals and bishops to publicly defend doctrine from this relentless, two year campaign of dissent only adds to this sense of powerlessness before what we fear is an unstoppable juggernaut to ignore or distort Christ’s teaching and change the Catholic Church beyond recognition.

For all these reasons I have written this survivor’s guide to the Synod to help myself and the readers of Catholic Voice get through the next three weeks.

What’s going to happen at the Synod?

It’s going to be a long haul Synod lasting three weeks, from October 4–25, compared to the shorter 2014 Extraordinary Synod that lasted two weeks. Its official theme is ‘the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.’
Pope Francis has explained that over the three weeks the Synod will systematically work through the Instrumentum Laboris – the working document composed from the 2014 Synod Final Report and further worldwide consultation by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. This highly controversial document has been criticised by Bishop Athanasius Schneider in his exclusive interview with Catholic Voice:

“In the light of a careful analysis of the facts, one is left with the suspicion that the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris try to push forward the agenda of a certain clerical pressure group in order to change the Divine law of the non-admission [of] the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion.”

Furthermore, Voice of the Family, a coalition of faithful Catholic groups, has identified further grave deficiencies in the Synod’s working document including the following set out in the planned order for discussion at the Synod:

It prepares the ground for the acceptance of same-sex unions by acknowledging the need to define “the specific character of such unions in society” beyond “biology and sexual difference”. (para. 8)

It presents a neutral position on IVF that ignores the Church’s authoritative guidance on its immorality, and the millions of embryonic human beings killed as a result of IVF. (para 34)

It reduces the indissolubility of marriage to the level of an “ideal”. (para 42)

It again suggests that cohabitation and “living together” have “positive aspects” and can be considered legitimate forms of union. (para 57, 61, 63, 99, 102)

It denies the full rights of parents regarding the provision of sex education to their children (para 86)

It proposes, yet again, the admission of the “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion through some form of ‘penitential way’, without amendment of life (para 120-125)

It undermines the doctrine of Humanae Vitae by proposing a false understanding of the relationship between conscience and the moral law (para. 137).

Let prayer defeat scheming and manipulation

The majority of deficient proposals that seek to undermine sacred doctrine are scheduled to be discussed by the Synod Fathers during the last week. This well-known ploy of leaving contentious issues until late in the day is often used by left-wing militants attempting to impose their agenda on a group. In the last week faithful Synod Fathers may well be fatigued and jaded by the first two weeks. However, the faithful Synod Fathers will need to have their wits about them during this last week because their opponents are planning to propose compromises, as if it is possible to find middle ground between truth and error! Cardinal Marx, one the leaders of the ‘clerical pressure group’ seeking to overturn doctrine has admitted that they will not follow a confrontational approach but will seek to achieve compromises:

“It is very important that the synod does not have the spirit of “all or nothing.” It is not a good way. The synod cannot have winners and losers. That is not the spirit of the synod. The spirit of the synod is to find a way together, not to say, “How can I find a way to bring my position through?” Rather: “How can I understand the other position, and how can we together find a new position?” That is the spirit of the synod.”

However, in a recent interview on EWTN Prof George Weigel predicted that faithful Synod Fathers would seek to challenge the Instrumentum Laboris and the planned schedule at the first working day of the Synod. If this proves true these faithful prelates will be taking a page out of the ‘progressives’ playbook when they rejected the pre-written schemas and schedule at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. We must pray that these African, Polish and American delegates are successful in stopping this gross manipulation of the Synod. Bishop Schneider gave Catholic Voice the following advice about how to react any signs of manipulation:

“In order to stop such manipulations we must first of all, implore fervently Divine and heavenly intervention, so that the following words of God may be realized in our days during the upcoming Synod: “God frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end” (Job 5: 12-13).”

Stay Faithful

Cardinal Raymond Burke was recently asked how should faithful Catholics respond if the Synod “takes a strange turning”? To which his Eminence gave a short two-word reply, “Stay faithful”. For Catholics in the UK and Ireland, who share a history of suffering centuries of persecution under the English Protestant State, an essential element of our practice of faithfulness is fidelity to our priests, bishops and the pope. For centuries we could rely on the vast majority of priests and bishops because they remained steadfast defenders of the Faith, even under the threat of imprisonment, torture and martyrdom. It breaks my heart to write this, but this is no longer true.

During this crisis when many priests and bishops are betraying the Faith we need to re-examine the source of our personal faith. When many of you were christened your godparents were asked by the priest, “What do you ask of the Church of God?” And they replied, “Faith”. We received the grace of faith from the Mystical Body of Christ, from the Bride of Christ, not from the priest, our bishop or pope. Bishop Schneider exhorts us to hold onto this fact of our supernatural life in Christ during the storms around the Synod:

“We must remain faithful to our baptismal vows. In baptism, you promised to remain faithful to the faith: not a part of faith, but the entire Catholic faith. You have not done your baptism greeting to the Pope, or your bishop, but to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And so you have to report after your death, not the pope or the bishop, but to God. That is why we need to keep our fidelity, and even be ready to die for every truth of the Catholic faith.”

We are fighting Principalities and Powers

wolfWhen I studied, and undertook, the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola for three years I learnt that one of the signs of the activity of Satan and evil spirits for faithful Christians in a state of grace, free from mortal sin, is confusion, disorientation and disquiet. St Ignatius advises that when souls are advancing in holiness, the influence of the devil is sensed as “rough, accompanied by noise and disturbance, like a drop of water on stone”. I’m certain that the disturbance suffered by so many faithful Catholics during the last Synod, and in the run up to the current Synod, is a sign that the attacks on the Faith are inspired by the devil.

Cardinal Burke has explicitly talked about the influence of Satan behind the present confusion at the heart of the Church:

“The pervasive confusion and grave error about the most fundamental truths, the most beautiful realities, and the lasting goods of human life and its cradle, the human family, as they come to us from the hand of God, are the tragic signs of Satan’s presence in our midst. When we see how he has succeeded in corrupting a culture which was once Christian and in sowing the seeds of confusion and error even within the Church herself, we can easily become frightened and discouraged.”

If, during the current Synod, we witness cardinals and bishops causing chaos within the heart of the Holy See by yet again undermining our Lord’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, we need to recollect that this occurs through the permissive will of God. As St Thomas Aquinas so succinctly put it, “God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.” If we remain faithful, no matter the cost, in the face of their faithlessness, the activity of the evil one will be turned by God to the advantage of His plan of salvation. Have hope!

Resist with love and truth

Both Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider exhort faithful Catholics to resist our bishops if they fail to defend the divine truth entrusted to the entire Church by God. St John Fisher also used the word ‘resist’ when his fellow bishops visited him in his prison cell in the Tower of London to persuade him to join them in betraying the doctrine of indissolubility and the apostolic nature of the Church. St John Fisher replied:

“The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it. And therefore seeing the matter is thus begun, and so faintly resisted on our parts, I fear that we be not the men that shall see the end of the misery.”

Four hundred and eighty years later the fort is again being betrayed by those who should defend it, and therefore the challenge of resistance faces all faithful Catholics. Our Lord promised St Peter that the “gates of hell will not prevail” (Mt 16:16) but as the Catholic novelist Louis de Wohl writes “Each of us must live as if that promise of Christ depended upon him alone”. (The Last Crusader, p.320).

The way we resist will determine if we co-operate with God’s plan to bring good for the future Church out of the present evil, or if we contribute more evil to the growing catalogue of evil. Therefore, we must resist those bishops refuse to defend the Faith with love and truth. When feelings of anger, anxiety or powerlessness assail us during the next three weeks I pray that God’s love fill’s our hearts, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”. (1 Cor 13:7-8).



About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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22 Responses to A Survivor’s Guide to the Synod

  1. Plain old Toad says:

    “…the influence of the devil is sensed as “rough, accompanied by noise and disturbance, like a drop of water on stone”.”
    How much noise is that? Plip?
    I don’t understand.

    “God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.”* Then surely we should all quit snivelling, and holding our heads in our hands, and rocking back and forth, and letting out squeaks only bats can hear. Because It Will All Be All Right In The End.
    Best just be patient. And go about performing kind acts on others. And so forth.
    (…It sez ‘ere.)

    *As long as He permits the evil to happen to someone else, it’s fine with me.


  2. “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Yes, and this is especially true because of what now know. That is, that there are countless other Catholics around the world who are as concerned and worried about the synod and its potential for “pervasive confusion and grave error” as Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, and Deacon Donnelly are. As we resist what may be the inevitable horrors emanating from the synod, it may also help to remember St. Paul’s comment that “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” or in other words, by all the saints in heaven itself.


  3. Plain old Toad says:

    “As we resist what may be the inevitable horrors…”
    The “horrors” can’t “may” be inevitable. They’re either inevitable or evitable.
    Anyway, as I said above, we’re agreed that God will sort it all out, won’t He?
    So what’s the point of all this angst and hand-wringing? No confidence in The Holy Spirit?
    It’s getting out of hand.


  4. Michael says:

    Toad @ 17:04, October 1st:

    I actually agree with you here (this is getting scarier by the minute). Either we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church into truth or we don’t – bottom line. All the talk about the Church being led astray in fundamental ways is unnecessary and any media figures that have stoked up the fires of doubt in that respect are at least partly responsible for contributing to the worries many of the faithful feel.

    However, it is also important to remember that the fact that God will protect the Church from error does not mean that there will not be lots of hiccups along the way (as there always have been), and I think a major reason so many people are upset by the furore surrounding the last Synod (and now this one) is that the result will be some kind of compromise, which doesn’t deny any fundamental truth, but will allow heterodox bishops in priests to exploit the ambiguity of these results and continue to push for changes at the ground level.

    With topics like same-sex relationships, divorce and re-marriage, etc having been brought up for discussion at the Synod, I think many are justifiably worried that there will be no clear reiteration of the Church’s position on these things. The orthodox amongst the faithful have endured a lot of unhelpful ambiguity during this pontificate, and prior to that have endured a lot of experimenting with both liturgy and doctrine in their parishes – I think the worry is not so much that the Church will go awry (though no doubt there is some of that as well), but that the liberalising nonsense will not be given a clear ‘NO’ sign and will then continue as before, or perhaps even worse than before.


  5. Plain old Toad says:

    “However, it is also important to remember that the fact that God will protect the Church from error does not mean that there will not be lots of hiccups along the way (as there always have been),”
    Surely God can protect the Church from error without hiccups along the way – if He really wants?

    I don’t see much evidence of God in all this, just a lot of men all blundering about and scheming and double-dealing, like any other multi-national corporation. I’ve lived through all this in newspapers.
    I remember thinking (and saying) when Ben quit, “He’s been booted out.” “Nonsense! He’s just tired, poor old thing, ” was the CP&S response. That tune has changed, all right.
    Now it’s a cabal of scoundrels who ousted the CEO, and put their guy in, we all agree.
    Well, don’t we?


  6. Michael says:

    Surely God can protect the Church from error without hiccups along the way – if He really wants?

    To do so would require His overriding human free will, which, whilst it is something He could do, would defeat the point of creating free agents in the first place. Of course there is scheming and double-dealing within the Church at times, as it is a massive institution with many different people pushing for many different angles.

    But the whole point of Christ’s promise to His Church is that He would protect it from error despite the many manifest human frailties involved in the process – He did not promise to wave a magic wand and stop people being free to think and act however they so choose. That truth is preserved in and through the messiness of human agency is more amazing than if He were to stop anything going wrong at all.


  7. Plain old Toad says:

    I’ve often caused bother referring to free will with regard to my dogs who haven’t got any.
    It struck me recently – how do we square free will with all that stuff about “Good Shepherds”? Sheep have no will at all, apparently, and yet we are likened to them.
    If a shepherd sees a sheep heading for the precipice of Sheep Hell, he doesn’t say to himself, “Well, it’s his choice,” No, he goes and grabs it – and boots it back in with the rest of the flock. Perhaps you can’t see what I’m getting at Michael.
    Do you mind being likened to a sheep?

    “Christ’s promise to His Church is that He would protect it from error despite the many manifest human frailties involved in the process…”
    So, I ask again – why all the current paranoia and hysteria?
    Could it be because if Christ doesn’t seem to protect people from tsunamis and malaria, why should He protect them from mere error?


  8. Plain old Toad says:

    Michael might well not follow the above – because it is not very well written – so, to put it another way – one one hand we are a flock of brainless nincompoops hanging around waiting to be fleeced and made into pies and delicious cheese – and on the other, we are intelligent creatures capable of making lucid decisions regarding our place in eternity – an idea of which we cannot possibly have any coherent conception.
    Some seems to be amiss with one picture or the other. To Toad.


  9. Michael says:

    Toad @ 07:26, 38:

    The biblical comparison of the faithful as sheep, and God as Shepherd is not meant to be an exact description…I don’t know why you insist on seeing it as such. It is parabolic, and therefore used to illustrate a point, not to provide a perfect description of human behaviour. And if you then ask why use that particular parable if it misses out on the free-will ‘factor’, well, the only kind of animal that would fit the bill (i.e.; one that has free will) is the human being – which is the very species being spoken about in the first place!

    I must admit, I do find your interpretation of passages like this a bit strange – they’re literalist in a way that even a sola scriptura evangelical Protestant wouldn’t accept. There are other parables which do emphasise free-will, and which complement ones like this – the point is that they are making, by analogy, a basic point, and are not meant to be pressed for exact equivalence with every aspect of human behaviour.

    So, I ask again – why all the current paranoia and hysteria?

    See my earlier response at 18:26 yesterday – people are worried about the possibility of a compromise in the results of the Synod, the ambiguity of which might lead to further confusion and neglect of the proper care of souls at parish level. There is indeed some concern in some quarters that the Church will actually err, but I think this is just the result of people having lived with a lot of confusion during this pontificate, and having previously endured decades of experimentation with/dilution of the Faith in the West.


  10. Plain old Toad says:

    “I must admit, I do find your interpretation of passages like this a bit strange – they’re literalist in a way that even a sola scriptura evangelical Protestant wouldn’t accept.”
    Is your interpretation of transubstantiation “literalist,” Michael? Mine is not. It seems a metaphor to me. (This will get censored.) These parables are a matter of interpretation, really – as you say.
    I just don’t see the point of a parable hinging on free will based on on creatures who haven’t got any. But maybe it’s not about free will – but sheepish obedience. That would work.


  11. kathleen says:

    @ Plain old Toad

    You really are the Most Exasperating of all ‘toads’ ever to crawl over these pages!! Even Our Blessed Lord found He could stand no more of the Apostles’ ignorance when they were being dumb and misunderstanding Him, (Luke 22:38). (Though later Our Lord’s real meaning broke through their clouded minds.)
    And Michael’s long-suffering patience with you must surely be reaching breaking point too.

    Toad, are you really being so extraordinarily naive and pig-headed, or are you just having us on?

    It is clear even to small children (as I know from experience in myself and with my own children, and many others I have taught) when Our Lord is stating the literal Truth in the Gospel, and when he is talking in parables or metaphors. Why can you not make the distinction then?

    No, of course Jesus is not a ‘shepherd’ tending real ‘sheep’, but recalling the beautiful words of Psalm 23, where the shepherd leads his flock towards green pastures and water , prepares a banquet for them, etc. and promises them that they will have their dwelling place “in God’s house for evermore” – and you know perfectly well what He refers to in these metaphors – Jesus assures His listeners that He will lead those who follow Him (and His commandments) in the same protective, loving way.

    The words of Our Lord at the Last Supper, and in John 6 that explain transubstantiation of Bread and Wine into His very own Sacred Body and Precious Blood – ARE NOT METAPHORS. Nothing in the evangelical texts could lead one to that assumption. Even the Protestants, who like you do not believe it, have a very sticky time trying to mess around with the bible translations to justify their departure from the words of Christ (and not succeeding I might add).

    Reading all sorts of dubious agnostic authors like your Anthony Kenny, and absorbing their mindsets, instead of the faithful, Doctors of the Church, saints, G.K.C., and a whole list of Church-sanctioned scholarly Catholic authors, have driven you to this state of permanent confusion and a never-ending Relativism.


  12. Michael says:

    Thank you Kathleen – that covers all the bases I think! 🙂

    Toad @ 16:27:

    Very silly – very silly indeed. I too find it hard to believe that, given the ground that’s already been covered here, these questions are actually meant seriously.


  13. kathleen says:

    Other Catholics are considering leaving the Church altogether because the procession of so many cardinals and bishops betraying Christ’s explicit teaching is making them lose confidence in the claims of faith being true.

    This is such a very sad – and unfortunately according to unbiased statistics – truthful fact that Nick Donnelly points out here. What a scandalous thing it is, when the very men who have vowed to save souls, leading them to Christ, and to bring others to the True Faith, instead drive them away from the Church through their prideful, arrogant belief that they know better than 2000 years of Catholic teaching!

    At Garabandal*, on 18th June 1965, Our Lady is reported as revealing these terrible words to the young visionaries: “Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them.”

    These words caused tremendous shocked horror! The full effects of post-Vatican II liberalisation had not fallen on the Catholic world at that time; priests and bishops were still held in high and deep respect. But now, after all we have seen in the few last decades, and in the intentions of the traitors invited to the coming Synod, we understand what Our Lady was warning us of. In hindsight, we can see Our Lady was speaking of these current treacherous times!

    * The Garabandal visions have not yet been endorsed by the Church at this stage. However, a statement by the bishop of Santander (Spain) spoke of the compliancy with the Church’s teaching of everything the visionaries reported the Mother of God had told them.


  14. Plain old Toad says:

    “Toad, are you really being so extraordinarily naive and pig-headed, or are you just having us on?”
    Hard to say. Kathleen, I think it’s both, really.

    “Nothing in the evangelical texts could lead one to that assumption. “
    I think there plainly is, but will forbear to go into it here.

    Anthony Kenny is, ironically enough, the unquestioned authority on the works of Aquinas. (and Wittgenstein) Some may regard him as “dubious.” I don’t.
    (From Wikipedia,)
    Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny FBA (born 16 March 1931) is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the philosophy of religion. With Peter Geach, he has made a significant contribution to Analytical Thomism, a movement whose aim is to present the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in the style of modern philosophy by clearing away the trappings and obscurities of traditional Thomism. He is one of the executors of Wittgenstein’s literary estate. He is a former President of the British Academy and the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

    And that ain’t chopped liver. Toad could stand being half so dubious, himself.


  15. Michael says:

    Anthony Kenny is, ironically enough, the unquestioned authority on the works of Aquinas.

    Sorry Toad, but this is nonsense. He is an authority on Aquinas, not the authority, and his authority is certainly not unquestioned either, particularly as the ‘clearing away the trappings and obscurities of traditional Thomism’* is itself a highly dubious project, which, by attempting to marry it to analytical philosophy, rips Saint Thomas’ thought out of its original context and fails to do justice to the breadth and depth of his insights (conveniently for the analytical philosopher of course).

    I suggest you might want to balance your reading of Anthony Kenny with some Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, Ralph McInerny or Alasdair MacIntyre – all actual Thomists (i.e.; who take Saint Thomas’ thought on its own terms, and don’t try to reshape it to fit contemporary movements in philosophy which are, in many ways, at odds with Aquinas), who have a great deal more authority in this area than Kenny, whatever his credentials might be in other areas.

    *Interesting that, in a debate on the authority or reliability of particular thinkers, you chose to back your side up with a quote from Wikipedia.


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    “Anthony Kenny…unquestioned authority…Aquinas.” Discuss.

    Sorry, Toad, but this is nonsense, as someone has already pointed out 😉

    I’ve just glanced back at a two part, twelve page article, The Rise & Fall of the Thomistic Renewalby Professor D. Q. McInerny, a Thomist scholar and a brother of the late Ralph McInerny mentioned by Michael, which I first read a few months ago, and while it mentions over two dozen 20th Century Thomist scholars, including all of those Michael refers to, it contains no mention of your Anthony Kenny or Peter Geach.

    Wikipedia, oy vey.


  17. Plain old Toad says:

    Oh, all right – Kenny’s an ignoramus, like me.


  18. Tom Fisher says:

    It occurred to me recently (my brain occasionally has spasms) that within several years, no man alive will have set foot on another world. What a terrible prospect (I think) — not related to Catholicism (it is) I suppose. Apologies.


  19. Michael says:

    Oh, all right – Kenny’s an ignoramus, like me.

    Ahem. The old black and white (i.e.; not very agnostic) view of things again eh? 🙂 Just because he’s not actually the supreme authority on Aquinas, as you seem to believe/have believed, it doesn’t mean he’s a dolt, or that his opinion on Aquinas is worthless. It just means what it means – that he’s not the academic touchstone for Thomism you thought he was.


  20. Plain old Toad says:

    Ahem, indeed. It’s unadvisable to take Toad too seriously, Michael. But you already know that.


  21. Plain old Toad says:



  22. Michael says:

    I suggest disadvisable, or maybe non-recommendatory. But yes, I certainly take the advice to not be advised to take you too seriously 🙂


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