Wednesday, June 4, 2014

But they just know the Church will change!

If there is one sentiment that baffles me more than any other, it's this:

The Catholic Church will be changing her teachings, and I only need watch and wait. I am foolish for not seeing the "big picture" of how it's all going to go down. It's inevitable. The Church will come around, the Church will conform. It's just a matter of time.

In response, I question how many millennia have to pass without the Church changing before they'll concede the point?

Take a look at what a dissenting* Catholic named James said to me just the other day, about the foolishness of faithful Catholics (emphases mine):

It’s just as frustrating to me to see an intelligent person walking a rigid black and white line that will waver and shift in the coming centuries. When I taught each of my girls to drive they all exhibited the same myopic habit of looking 6 feet over the hood. My first correction to them was to look waaaay down the road to get the big picture, to see what was coming so as to be aware, while using peripheral vision to sort out any immediate hazards. Their driving improved immediately.

James believes that he has vision far into the future; he sees what's coming ahead. If only the Catholic Church could see what he sees or could know what he knows.

Well, I agree that somebody is missing the big picture here, but it's not the Church. The Church isn't looking "six feet over the hood", not at all. In fact, she started her engine over two thousand long years ago, and she began her journey looking out toward all of eternity. She was full of confidence in her mission and destiny then (as now), and she knew exactly where she was going. Two millennia later, she sees in her rearview mirror the ruins of every empire she passed along the way, even as she steadily cruises along, undeterred. She has not "wavered and shifted" off of the road and into any ditches, nor is there any credible sign that she ever will.

There is just no sign of it.

Dissenters and heretics and naysayers and ex-Catholics have been predicting "inevitable changes" since the first century of the Church's existence. Yet, they are the ones who took their eyes off the road. While looking sideways to gawk at shiny distractions, or while looking inward to contemplate the lint in their own navels, they lost the "big picture" and ran themselves into a ditch. Ouch.

But that's not how the Church rolls.

Let's walk through it:

The First Century -- Enemies of the Church are smugly predicting her fall, brutally persecuting her, violently trying to force the change themselves.
The Second Century -- Ditto
The Third Century -- Ditto
The Fourth Century -- Violence against the Church eases, but how 'bout them heretics! The Church is wrong, they say, and she must and will change. The heretics gain lots of followers but lose Christ. The Church keeps driving straight ahead.
The Fifth Century -- The Church still hasn't changed her teachings, still going strong. Dissenters, heretics, and apostates see only six feet over the hood, and they lose the big picture entirely.
The Sixth Century -- The Church still had not changed her teachings. Eyes on the road, driving smoothly forth.
The Seventh Century -- The Church continues to outlast her critics, i.e., the ones who confidently predict her inevitable assimilation to the ways of the world or to their own particular heresy. Same story in...
The Eighth Century
The Ninth Century
The Tenth Century
The Eleventh Century
The Twelfth Century
The Thirteenth Century
(Are you still with me?)
The Fourteenth Century
The Fifteenth Century
The Sixteenth Century -- Special note here: A bunch of Catholics disillusioned with sinners in the Church decide to jettison the Church entirely and preach brand new (heretical) doctrines; Church teaching still does not change, even as internal corruption is cleaned up. The Church continues to drive on her divinely appointed path while the Protestant Reformers and their followers splinter endlessly off-course in all directions.
The Seventeenth Century
The Eighteenth Century
The Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century
The Twenty-first Century

Still no change. Yawn. Just checking my watch here. Nope, we're good. Still taking the long view and not getting sidetracked.

The spirit and sins of the age in every culture have come and gone a thousand times over, and the Church has not bowed to any of them.

There is not a scintilla of evidence that the Church is about to reverse course.

But still I get, "Oh, it's just a matter of time now. You'll see. The house of cards will fall." And yet, no one ever sees, and the "house of cards" never falls.

My question: How much time must elapse until the critics are convinced?

It's a serious question, but it's largely rhetorical, of course. The critics will never be convinced in our own time, even as they weren't convinced in the First Century, or the Second, or the Fourth, or the Sixteenth, or the Twentieth.

There have been a million Jameses talking of the Church's inevitable change for centuries on end with not a hint of vindication. Their blinders won't allow them to see the Church that Christ established, the Church protected and charged with teaching the Truth both in season and out.

My advice to James and the others is to take James' advice and apply it to themselves: Stop with the myopic habit of looking only six feet over the hood at the fads and fancies of the day. Look waaaay down the road to get the big picture, use the experience of two millennia to understand what is coming so as to be aware, and use your peripheral vision to sort out any immediate hazards and shiny trinkets that would take you off the steady, narrow road and into a ditch. Your driving will improve immediately.

Your path will be stable, reliable, and clear to eternity.


PS: Before anyone challenges me by presenting supposed "changes" in Church teaching, be sure to know the difference between a discipline and a doctrine.

*Updated to reflect that James may not be an ex-Catholic as I had originally believed, but rather a lapsed or dissenting Catholic. I can't really know, since he put a quick comment below and will not be returning to correct me from what I can tell.


  1. Well, the "Spirit of VII" was rather a big change. It may not be "official" church doctrine, but it sure made a change in the church in my country.
    I'm flemish. My country was once one of the most catholic countries in the world. Now the CC is as dead as a doornail. That's rather a big change, isn't it.
    Take abortion. I only heard it mentioned once, the week before the parliamentary vote somewhere at the end of the ninities.
    Take catholic schooling, when a believing catholic (Alexandra Coolen) saw what was taught in the nineties as catechese she was disgusted. She took it up with dear cardinal danneels. End result after a few years; Danneels: Catechese is not the responsibility of the bishops. Danneels: since you claim to be a good catholic, obey and shut up.
    As for Humanae Vitae and things like that, never heard it mentioned in church. Did hear a lot about the South-American Indians though, well, the lefty ones.
    Once again, it may not be "official" doctrine, but when the church totally disregard the practice what difference does it make. It might as well be "official".

    I haven't been at church for years (except for a funeral). It became just an exercise in futility. From the last years I went to church. The credo was updated. A text where every letter and comma count was changed by some liturgical soviet into a complete bla bla bla text. One regret I have is that I didn't take a copy of that text with me. I would have loved to put the original and my translation on internet and asked what say father Z thought of that. Maybe things have changed, but I rather doubt it.

    Mind, I define myself as a very lapsed catholic who, hopefully, one day may become a catholic again. I still see Christianity, and the CC in particular, as the sanest thing and at times as the only sane thing in the world. I don't see myself becoming unlapsed any day soon though.

    1. You sound like a good Catholic who saw clearly the "human" problems with the Church in your country, but like most of us, you made the assumption that Flemish cultural reality is what defines the Church. For example, almost half of the bishops in the 6th century were teaching the Arian heresy which is much more detrimental to Christianity than the "liberal vs. conservative" problem of the post Vatican II era but faithful Catholics plodded along and outlasted the errors. That is our calling. The humans within the church will always be flawed until they get to heaven.....believe anyway. We need faithful Catholics back at mass to be true to the truth. Go back to mass please because we need you. God needs you and you need the Eucharist. It is still Jesus no matter how flawed the Priest is and how lacking and poor the homily is. Worship always. Pray always. Have faith in Jesus always. I have felt your pain and left the church for many years but I am back and I am hopefully part of the solution and not the problem. Peace to you.

    2. But if one were living in the 6th century, how would one know that the Arians were wrong and the Athanasians were right?

      (Nor is the Arian heresy truly "over"—the Islamic view of Jesus is essentially Arian.)

    3. ChurchLady, that was beautiful! And James B, please see my response, below.

    4. Addendum to "As for Humanae Vitae and things like that, never heard it mentioned in church."
      I never heard it mentioned in school either, and I went to catholic schools from age 3 to age 18.

  2. (Not the same James referred to in the OP. It's a common name.)

    I guess that depends on what your definition of "not changed" is. Overall, I've found that Catholics can't even agree on whether the Church has changed!

    In practice, there is little difference between Catholics and the many Protestant denominations, and practice is what most Catholics see. One can get not only significantly different practice, but significantly different theology at different parishes.

  3. The problem is that very often people disagree with not what the Church teaches but with what they think She teaches. :)
    Anyway two things are most important for me: how to live with Jesus (and the Catholic Church teaches me that) and how to help other people choose Jesus (and His Church). The cultural situation may be different in different countries but these fundamental issues are the same. It is not so much about what the others should do as what I should do - because of my love for Jesus and His Church. And Jesus does not change :))

  4. Phil D, I like the fact that no matter how poor a priest a man is, no matter how "hip" he tries to be or how much he puts his own personality into the prayers of the Mass, for that matter no matter how painfully bad the music on any Sunday is, as long as the priest was validly ordained and says the words of Consecration as he's supposed to, I get to receive Jesus at a Catholic Church, and I would never, ever leave. I know it is very discouraging to have weak priests and worse to have a weak bishop, but Jesus is bigger than that, and the Church will outlast all of them, as She always has. And it never hurts to pray and fast for your priests and bishop. You never know what changes you'll see in them when you do pray for them. It's like the saying, "I was going to ask God why He sees pain and suffering and hunger in the world and doesn't do anything about it, but I'm afraid He'd ask me the same thing." You see problems in your parish, your diocese, your country? Do something about it. Pray and fast.

    1. Oh, and get back to Mass. Ignore any nonsense, offer it up knowing it hurts Jesus, too, but unless the priest really changes the words of consecration (my brother was at a Mass recently where the priest was bold and foolish enough to do that. My brother didn't go up to receive Communion because when they said "The Body of Christ" he would have had to reply, "I doubt it.") you NEED to be there. You are only hurting yourself by staying away. Pray to find a faithful priest and you might find that there is one not far from you. You can bet that a faithful priest in a country like yours is suffering, too.

  5. Hope springs everlasting in the wayward human breast that God/His Church will one day endorse sin. God never does, and His (true) Church never will, because He Himself stands at her helm - to the end of the age. The world can try her resilience and test her fidelity all it wants, throw every last stone at her and deal her every carrot it has, but, as ever... no dice. We're not dealing with a human institution here - we're beholding the House of God, built on a Rock, and populated by humans of every ilk, simultaneously weak and strong, bonded eucharistically with the Rock Himself, Jesus Christ.

  6. James B, you asked: "But if one were living in the 6th century, how would one know that the Arians were wrong and the Athanasians were right?"

    I am so glad you asked!!! Truly! I want to run out and buy you a copy of , by David Currie (you can probably get it used on amazon), and have you turn to pages 92-94. It is a very easy to read chart of the heresies for a few hundred years in the early Church (all the heresies are heresies that Catholics and Protestants can agree are heresies). He showcases each of the major Sees at the time and which of those bishops were teaching those heresies. You will see clearly then what the author concludes: "… the only sure way for the Christian to know that his doctrine was orthodox was to remain in agreement with the See of Rome…"

    The only See to never teach a heresy! Follow the pope! Jesus' promises are trustworthy. Cling to the See of Peter, i.e., the Bishop of Rome.

    1. Whoa. How did the name of the book disappear?? Sorry. It's Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by David Currie. The entire chapter on "Authority Focused" is worth the price of the book, and more.

  7. Phil D, the Church did not change, but Christ's shepherds neglected your people and ignored the Church's teachings. It sounds like you are back to mission territory. Your job? Light a flame. Go back to the Eucharist. Don't stay away. So what if you are the only faithful one in your whole nation? Then become a saint. Start a revolution. Sanctity is attractive, and people will want what you have. You can't do anything without the sacraments. Please, go back to the Eucharist and don't look back… He needs you to be there, and you need him. Your country needs saints and witnesses. This is nothing new, but you can't step down from this mission. I know we all will pray for you!

    1. I did mention I'm "lapsed". I don't know why people get the idea that I'm a good but disgusted (by the situation) catholic. I certainly didn't want to imply that. To come back I would have to do some serious change, call it a Damascus moment, and there should be something to come back to.
      Anyway, I'm talking about my own "story" and my own country to illustrate but it isn't just "one priest" and it isn't just my country. It is no different in Holland (Holland is always worse (some flemish-dutch animosity here)), and from what I read England, France and Germany and well, basically (ex)catholic Europe ...
      My point was that the church may well NOT have changed its doctrine de jure, de facto it rather did, at least for a time (and still counting).

  8. Phil D, so you have ceased believing in the Church because of regional heresies?

    1. Rather a big region. Add to that South-America and Northern-America. Don't know about the other regio's.
      As for heresies, if it was declared that the church in the west was in a state of heresy, well that would be a step forward but I don't think any pope has done that. And what is Kasper up to?

      "Phil D, so you have ceased believing in the Church because of regional heresies"
      Frankly, I don't know how to answer this, because the question itself is, well, not relevant. I'm no Luther, just lapsed.
      Perhaps I should just say "I have ceased to believe".

      Anyway, enough about me please, it's like I'm trolling. Your article was about the unchanging church (doctrine). Let's keep it there.

      P.s. The copy function here is a dangerous thing. I wanted to copy one sentence and what I did was copy the whole article and all comments up to now.

  9. Phil, my understanding is that England has more practicing Catholics in it today than CoE'ers. I could be wrong, but I do know that Catholicism is very fast growing. Yes, certain regions (big or not, and Europe is not that big compared to the rest of the world) do fall into darkness from time to time. Again, look at the Arian heresy in the early centuries. What was it that St. Jerome said? "We woke up and all the world was Arian." And the Church still stands, still teaches the same truths. That should tell us something about taking the long view, and God's promises to remain steadfast. He did not promise that every region would remain "on fire". Is all of Europe heretical? I don't think so. And that's not how it works, anyway. The Pope does not declare regions heretical. He can identify heresies, he can sanction and correct individuals, but he does not declare entire regions heretical. How could he? There are true believers in every nation of the world. And there is the Eucharist everywhere there is a valid priest.

    1. Fun fact, Flanders has been put under the interdict for a time in the middle ages, thanks to the French King.

  10. Just for the record, Lourdes alone has more pilgrims annually than the Muslim Hajj. Some estimate it at twice the number (up to 5 million annually). Speaking from my own experience, the vast majority of pilgrims are practicing European catholics. So while orthodoxy and orthopraxy is indeed in a lamentable state over here, it is far from dead. And the younger the priests and laypeople who go to church, the more orthodox on average. I'm not worried for the Church in Europe. But for too many individual souls.

  11. Phil, broadly speaking, Truth tends to be relegated to a back row wherever/whenever materialism starts to take root, followed closely by her sister, decadence.

    That is largely the story of the Western world today, where Catholicism is, admittedly, taking a hammering. But only Truth lasts forever, while the false promises of the world and all its titillating isms are exposed sooner or later. How ironic, that even as Western Europe is losing the Faith, the countries of Eastern Europe - Poland and Russia being prime examples - which flirted with materialistic worldviews in the name of communism/socialism - are relishing Christianity/Catholicism anew.

    Meanwhile, in increasing evidence is the toll that godlessness is taking in the West - with broken familes, filling jails, violence, depression, loneliness, youth suicides, et al. Yet, despite all this - or because of it - more and more young people are seriously looking for answers to their questions/problems, and in multiple directions at once, including ancient philosophies by those who otherwise have scant regard for tradition.

    I have a channel on YouTube with little Catholic videos, mostly amateur stuff, yet subscriptions to it are constantly growing. Every once in a while I look at the profiles of my new subscribers to check what other videos they've been watching. The diversity is immense. From philosophy to New Age to the Eastern religions to the occult... you name it. Sometimes I'm surprised that some of these people would even subscribe to a Catholic channel, but they do! And few ever unsubscribe. So the hunger for truth, for understanding, for answers to life's most profound questions is still very much out there. Some will take longer than others to find them, but find them they are determined to.

    Even through the worst years of the sex abuse scandal, when you'd expect membership of the Catholic Church to drop significantly, the numbers - amazingly - kept increasing, year after year, invariably, as it still does. Seems the Truth still shines, even through the fog and human failures and confusion. What won't ever happen, as long as human beings are comprised of body and soul (i.e., as long as we're both physical and spiritual beings), is that religion will become an "unacceptable" thing, as this silly fellow reckons:

    Rather, the point will be, which religion/worldview offers the most satisfying answers to guide the contemporary hearts and conduct of men? And in that analysis, Catholicism can never and will not ever be written off. Unless the Church starts to mess with her age old doctrines. Which (2000 years of history being proof) she will not - indeed, cannot - do.

    1. The hammering the CC took was from the inside, the "Spirit of VII", which I consider to be a murder/suicide cult.
      The fact remains that it was from the inside.

      As for the abuse scandal, that was something I never heeded. For one, I know who to blame, and for another the abuse in the "secular" society is incomparibly worse (as an example in the UK, see "grooming gangs").

      As for the message of the Church, well, how is the Church going to do that without its instruments? The school system? The only thing catholic about it is is the name itself. The church itself, see previous remarks.
      It's very good that there is a hunger for truth, but were will it be stilled? Not in the church I know. Not as long as the "old guard" is in power. Something biblical in this "If the salt loses ...".

      Whatever I am today, I'm for catholicism, nothing else signifies, and I really hope you are right for all our sakes. I just don't see it.

  12. I see renewal and sanctity everywhere. I admit I am blessed to be in an amazing diocese, but my goodness, things are so, so, so much better than when I was a child. Catechesis is better, the zeal for the Truth is more evident, and souls are converting at an amazing pace. I know you wanted us to move beyond talking about you personally, but Phil, you can be the salt and light. Why not? Jesus started with only Twelve. And, you need to care for your own soul and those who are in your charge (if you have children). God never stops calling you.

  13. You know, Phil, the (Catholic) Church is structured precisely to meet man’s deepest needs, and, what I have discovered in my own contemplation and observations is that man himself is hard wired to come to her for the rest he seeks - when all other work and play is said and done.

    Over the past year or so I’ve been noticing in a special way, in myself and in the expressions and actions of others, all those deep and perennial little dreams and desires that we have as human beings, which we never usually talk about, or even think too consciously about, but which no one who is honest among us would really deny upon reflection. Some of these appear so silly, you’d imagine we’d have shrugged them off by now, yet they have persisted from the dawn of history right to this day within us!

    The dream of being loved perfectly. The dream of immortality and invincibility. The yearning for ultimate justice when we behold all the various evils among us, not least of all against the innocent, the poor, and the powerless. Sure and everlasting redemption from all pain and suffering. The need for understanding – both to know and to be known. The assurance of merciful forgiveness when we mess up (and fess up). Dreams of being able to fly. To travel back and forth in time (which quantum physics is now acknowledging is eminently possible outside of the physical universe, where time does not exist and everything of the past, present and future is encapsulated in an immanent instant. This is science, not religion, talking!). Of exploring the farthest boundaries of the universe (known in Catholic theology as "agility" of the glorified body). Of bilocation. Of having “all these things added unto” us. The steadfast assurance of unalienable rights – starting with the right to our lives. The ability to communicate beyond the grave with our loved ones. The security of an omnipotent Father and the comfort of a most tender Mother. The need for the most intimate communion with one another, that is the only assurance of an unassailable peace. Oh, the many things that our hearts ever yearn/burn for, so dear, and yet so far!

    Now is there – reasonably considered – a means available to man whereby he can have/achieve all these things? Secondly, is there any other? I don’t want to spell out the answers. I’d rather each reader of this comment consider these questions for himself/herself. In the answer lies the greatest of all Treasures, free to all for the receiving.

    All the primal things that the Catholic Church stands for and the (most reasonable) Faith that she proposes, I posit nothing will ever match. In her all encompassing Truth lies her invincibility, and her ever shining attraction.

  14. I think this is very much the devil's work. After all, why learn about what the Church teaches and why she teaches it if eventually the Church will "see the light."

    But I don't think people even understand having a system of morals anymore. This is kinda dumb but I read an article on the internet the other day about a teacher who didn't hang up the phone correctly and left a mother a voicemail trash talking her student. Most of the comments stated "Well the only thing the teacher did wrong was get overheard" What???? I was always taught talking behind someone's back was wrong even if you didn't get caught. Do we all do it sometimes?.....yeah we do, but it is still wrong.

    But it seems like a lot of people really believe if we all "typically" do something then it is okay. It is only wrong if most people wouldn't do something. So they can't understand why the Church isn't easy because being "good" is suppose to be easy, right?

    How do we help people go from that mindset to a mindset where being a good person requires you to work at it?

  15. Thanks for all the hard work, Leila, but if your ignorance extends to calling me an ex-Catholic who subscribes to the downfall of the church, I'll pass. And I won't be back
    for the reply.

  16. James, if I have misrepresented you (and by the way, I didn't say you "subscribe to the downfall of the church"), then I would love to stand corrected? Are you not an ex-Catholic? And, the entire thread of our conversation is available for all to see, using the link I supplied in the original post. If any can see where I have misrepresented your words or intent, please anyone, feel free to correct me publicly.

    Francis, beautiful words! And Kat, it's a great question. It's easiest when the culture itself supports the virtue. Outside of that… it's a question of grace and training and being able to state the truth with conviction and clarity (with our lives as examples to back it up).

  17. I saw two comments on that article linked in the OP regarding "evangelizing" and "objectivity" and stopped because I see a complete lack of logic. So, James doesn't "lose his objectivity" for his own type of evangelization? What applies to one should apply across the board, correct?

  18. Nubby, it's a great question! I have no idea why it would apply to faithful Catholics but not to James. However, he apparently is not interested in engaging in a discussion here, which is unfortunate, as he is very, very active in discussions all over Catholic Stand. Why he will engage me (and others) there and not here is something I don't understand.

    I have also changed the OP to reflect that James is likely not an ex-Catholic (I thought surely he was). I don't want to misrepresent anyone, so my apologies for misreading the situation (although I would prefer if James himself corrected me; not sure why he left things so vague).

  19. IMO the simple answer is if you believe what Jesus said - that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church- then you will have no worries. It can seem bleak at times but we aren't in charge. We have to do what He tells us and He does all the work ! The fate of the Church doesn't rest on us. So as painful as it is to watch many Churches closing or any of the other negative things happening in the Church, we have faith in our Lord and His promises.

  20. If there was a "like" button on this blog (as there is on some others) I'd be clicking a few, including the above one from Dina. :) Nothing, but nothing, is more prudent than childlike faith. Well said, Dina!

  21. So I read further into that Catholic Stand comment thread and I see James brings up "Conscious Evolution" as a rabbit trail discussion. I sure hope it comes up again because I see the first fork in the road, logically speaking. And I am hugely pro-thinking aloud, as I know you are, Leila.

  22. Nubby, how I would love to see you and James discuss that!!

    Dina, amen, and Francis, yes… a childlike faith is mocked today, but it's what Jesus stressed. It doesn't mean to drop our intellect at the door, but we must drop our cynicism and mistrust. It's hard for adults to do, but worth it.

  23. I've enjoyed reading the intelligent and well written comments.

    Here's an article I ran across this morning (and its content won't be news to most of you) that reminds me, once again, that the Church's vision is far reaching to the point of being prophetic:

  24. I like the new photo of you, Leila!

  25. Nancy, that's a great article! And Johanne, thanks! I figured it was time to get something up that was not from six years ago!!! That last photo was older than the blog itself!

  26. Why do people think the Church should conform to us because we are sometimes unhappy or sulking or selfish? No, no, no. That's just backwards. We are suppose to conform to the doctrines. Besides how could some ordinary person know how the church is just going to "get with the times" and change? Sure there are changes, refinements, and re-calibrations but the basic doctrine doesn't change.

    Excellent blog post. Yep, the Church takes the long view. We can choose to move towards it or away from it. But isn't it nice that no matter where we roam, the Church is always home?

    Oh, when I first read VII in a comment, I thought it was Roman numeral 7. : )

    Excellent blog post.


  27. james is disputing much, but logically arguing little. His arguments lack structure and logic. Example:

    Our Church is always changing in subtle ways as we mature as a species - james

    What does this mean - "mature as a species"? Maturing, as in "evolving", has no bearing on whether or not doctrines change.
    If he means something as broad as the fact that the Church now utilizes computers to run things more smoothly, instead of paper and pencil, then, yes, the Church "changes in subtle ways". Maturity (evolution?) as humans has zero relationship to how the Church morally "changes" (teachings don't change).

    What's perplexing, per your OP, is that people in open disobedience to the Church hang their hat on the mere hopes that someday the Church will change Her teachings to catch up with today. Their thoughts and desires would all be passe by the time we reach "then".
    Then their argument becomes, "Well, the Church needs to keep up with us."
    Yet, then the million dollar question becomes, "Keep up with whom? And how?" Good luck with living that dream. How about just reasoning how long the teachings have withstood the test of time? How about just reasoning that when you see a lighthouse in the distance, that has been there for 2,000 yrs, you can breathe a breath of hope, you can go ashore (because that lighthouse isn't going anywhere), before the storm hits and dashes your wooden ship to pieces with the ever changing "waves" and "rocks" of modern ideas. Now, I'm off to refill my margarita, because our nonsensical motto around here is, "An empty glass is an awful glass."

  28. Thanks, Lena!

    And Nubby… Their thoughts and desires would all be passe by the time we reach "then".



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