Thursday, January 26, 2006

You Never Know When You Get Up in the Morning Where Your Life Might be Headed By the End of the Day

Thursday 1/26/06

This day I came to work half hour late (every day I resolve to be there at 8:30, and almost every day I'm at least 15 minutes later than that, and even though I make it up by working into the evening, I still regret that I misssed the goal). This sign was affixed to the glass door onto the back parking lot:

Please attend company presentation at the
Hilton at 9:30. Maps at reception.

Then after the painful long wait before my computer allows me to log in and the additional painful long wait before the mail
program (Lotus notes) launched, I found this email.

From Joe Millares [our CFO]
To cyus
Subject Please Attend Company Presentation at 9:30
Date: 01/26/2006 04:18 AM

Good Morning Everyone:

Please attend a Company Presentation at 9:30 AM today (Thursday) at the Newark Hilton, 39900 Balentine Drive, Newark. John and Daniel have an important message for everyone. Please arrive on time. Thank you.


Joe M. Millares
Chief Financial Officer
Cyclades Corporation

Another email from Daniel Delarossa, one of the two co-founders, announced: Cyclades merges with Avocent. In Daniel's email,the news was presented as a way for the company to get more resources to keep growing.

But the reality, when we listened to the Avocent manager whose group Cyclades is joining, is that Cyclades has been sold for $90 million. The two co-founders John Lima and Daniel, will stay for six months, and then they will leave to start another company. Cyclades will be no more.

I asked what's the difference between a merger and an acquisition? And Dave Parry, the Avocent executive, admitted that we were acquired.

The 4 am email was due to the fact that the contract had only been signed at 2 a.m.

Reacting to comment on my comments in my previous blog

KYS wrote: "People can have loving, committed relationships that include sexual intimacy without marriage or children."

TA Dodger wrote: People can love each other without marriage.

But do they? WIthout marriage there is no real commitment. And love that is conditional on an emotion or thrill is not love. Love is an action. It's being there for the other person sometimes even when they can not do us a bit of good.

Gay "committed" couples I've met are promiscuous, with options for "relationships" on the side. If monogamous, their "committments" are usually short-lived.

It's the nature of sexual pleasure (when it is divorced from the bonding and the fruitfulness of engendering a child) to lead to disatisfaction. When the thrill is gone, the person looking for the thrill starts scanning the horizon for someone to regain the thrill with.

If you are a committed heterosexual couple, why not marry? How many movies you see these days show the answer to that question: the person is hoping to find a better partner, and if a better catch comes along the "committment" will be over in a flash, even up to the moment the vows are being pronounced. Or later.

Sure women enjoy intercourse. But they also enjoy being valued for more than orgasmic pleasure. Even the raunchiest woman I have ever met once expressed to me that she feels badly when a man breaks off with her. What she does, she told a group of us out for Mexican at Chili's one noon time, that she goes out and picks someone up. Waiting to see if the man she has a one night stand with is going to call her keeps her from thinking about the loss of the first guy. For even this clearly "sex"-loving woman, the attachment is real and is painful if ended. This woman has since divorced her third husband. To me she is one of a large set of people I've known whose lives show that uncommitted unions lead to an inability to commit.

Intercourse has a biological function and a psychological function, and but the philosophers of sex like Hugh Hefner who helped bring about the overthrow of morality like to pretend it is just an isolated act.

The way we live now:

People are denying the natural law built into their own bodies.

Yes, I'm saying that a bond is created with sexual union, whether or not you like the person or not. Whether or not you are "just using" (what a horrible phrase) that man or woman.

If a woman or a man doesn't want marriage or children, that person should not engage in intercourse, because the natural outcome of the act of what used to be called love is bonding for life and children.

If you really love someone you don't do things that damage them. Having sex outside of marriage is skimming the cream off the top and tossing the rest of the person aside. You are taking that person out of the full context of what they are. You are not building a life with that person and with the to-be-expected lives that are to be born of that union. Everything is conditional, even if you "love." We all know how fast "love" can disappear.

And all of a sudden a conceived child becomes "a by product of conception" instead of a human being. We have made sex our god, and we see that any consequences of worshipping sex are to be endured stoically because they serve the highest goal of life, which is to be free and to have as many orgasms as possible.

Do you know how much you have been brainwashed by the culture you were raised up in? The set of beliefs seem to me to be unreasoned and embraced blindly. THere is no right to have sex. Even for something as mundane as driving is not allowed to people who will not do it responsibly. You don't give someone a car unless they are licensed to drive.

"I don't want to tell you how to live your life any more than I want you to tell me how to live my life."

The Department of Motor Vehicles tells us how to live our lives.The people that make traffic laws tell us how to live our lives. The laws of physics tell us how to live our lives: If you crash into something because you are speeding you hurt yourself and others. These constraints on our freedom are to be desired.

In the same way, by nature intercourse is designed for a purpose and harm comes when the purpose is denied. There are laws about how to live our sexual lives that are for our own good. Sure I want to tell you how to live your life, because it is for your health and happiness. But if you want to keep driving 85 miles an hour without a seat belt four sheets to the wind, don't say I didn't warn you. And if I can, I will try to get your license taken away before you kill yourself or someone else.

There are many people who won't obey any laws because they don't want compromise their freedom. But they are risking a lot.

Freedom is not being free from constraints. Freedom is being free to choose to do the right thing.

Mean New World

Random thoughts some posts I read at

The posts that scoff about the futility of expecting people not to go to bed outside of marriage are denying reality. For ages it was understood in the majority of cultures that sleeping with another person is reserved for marriage(except for the occasional disfunctional cultures dug up by anthropologists like Margaret Mead who were looking for justifications for their own sexual immorality).

Parents used to protect their daughters from unprincipled men that would take their virginity and discard them. Decent fathers used to advise their sons not to take advantage of women by seeking to have the thrill without being willing to give the love and commitment.

Before the sexual revolution, the norms were different than they are now. When something is illegal or recognized as immoral, only those who are on the fringes are likely to do it. Most people live within the values of their society.

Now everything is legal, and the consequences are horrible. I would argue that separating sex from conception and love and that the violence of abortions are root causes behind child abuse, not the lack of available contraception or lack of access to abortion (which some claim). When love and child bearing and any inconveniences on our way to pleasure are perceived in such a negative light, then a child is seen as an object that can be abused when it interferes with our pleasure. Just as other people are seen as objects in the way we live now.

What we do to our children with this Brave New Morality is damage them. Instead of training our children with the age-old morality that physical "knowing" of a member of the opposite sex belongs only in marriage, we encourage our young people not to "repress" themselves. We now teach that people are incapable of self control.

The truth is that people that have sex outside of marriage are playing havoc with their normal feelings. They have to learn how to repress instead a whole other set of associated feelings that come with sexual union without love or commitment.

The hatred of someone who "clings" or is "possessive" is part of that whole mindset. The real crime is to use without love, but in our society the natural feelings of jealousy, along with the desire to want to "own" or keep the other person in our life after we have given ourselves to that person in that most intimate of all acts, these natural feelings are perceived as being evil and we are taught to repress them.

Liberals in these matters give their children permission to freely engage in a heartless coming of age ritual that in many ways is a mutilation of the soul and body that is equivalent to or even worse than genital mutilation.

When a young woman and man have "sex," for the first time, they enter into a physical union that for the health and happiness of them both belongs in a committed relationship. The consequences are harmful psychologically, physically, morally, and spiritually. Breaking up is hard to do.

Learning how to manage the feelings is the rite of passage I'm speaking of, which is wrong because it teaches people to deny their real feelings in pursuit of an imagined freedom, which ironically often leads to slavery.

Women are especially cheated of the full expression of their natural instincts with that kind of relationship. When I was growing up, future thinkers like Hugh Hefner and Isaac Asimov and Isaac Asimov dreamed of a world like we have now, where a person could have intercourse with a stranger without any ties. Women's instincts are for child bearing and love of husband and children, but they are being taught the perversion of their natural instincts is for their good. Abortion, the violation of a woman's natural feelings of love for the fruit of her womb, is for the convenience of people like Hefner, whose vision of freedom is freedom to use women who are always young, never dependent, never fertile, never inconvenient.

Learning how to let go of someone with whom you have the sexual union is painful. Drugs and alcohol and meanness help dull the pain and guilt. Everyone acknowledges that when a "relationship" ends, it is like a little death. It can take six months or often a lifetime to recover from losing a person who is connected to you whether or not you want to admit the connection exists. Our society denies the connection exists, but that does not make it any less real.

The person who is rejected (the dumpee) is always diminished in their sense of their own value. How can that other person have known me so deeply and found me unworthy of love?

A lifetime of making and breaking these bonds has many evil consequences, and one of them is the people who are schooled in immoral sex find it very hard to make real and lasting commitments.

They start with what used to be called love, and don't call it love unless it suits them.

It's like we don't call a baby in the womb a child unless it suits us. A man can be tried for killing an unborn child if he kills a pregnant mother, but society paradoxically says that for a woman to kill a baby in her own womb is not murder.

Words used to deny the reality of love and of life are lies.

Don't laugh at the idea that you can avoid sexual disease and unwanted pregnancies by not having sex until marriage. Don't forget that for ages upon ages humans understood the natural results of intercourse are both a permanent connection with the other person and the creation of new life.

Just because birth control was invented doesn't mean that it is a good thing for the human race. If a pill gets invented that reliably enables people to eat more than they need without the food being converted into bodily nutrition and fat reserves, that won't make gluttony a good thing either.

People bond because they do literally become one flesh, whether or not they even like each other. Separating from that bonding is traumatic, but people accept the pain because it's part of the illusion of freedom that we value so highly. And when the person gets trained into lust separated from love, that person probably learns to be very cavalier about the pain that the pursuit of lust causes in their dealings with other people.

Oh Mean New World that has such values in it.

PS. People often claim that Jesus did not speak out against fornication or homosexual practice, so they claim that Jesus thought it was enough to love our neighbor. Jesus didn't speak against these obvious evils because he didn't have to. Everybody in the Jewish culture of that day understood that fornication and homosexual practice are evil. Jesus didn't speak out against a lot of other bad things like murder or child abuse, but that didn't mean he was saying that we could do these things as long as we were baptized and believed in the Gospel. It was left to the authors of the early Christian epistle to spell these things out, because the epistles were often writing to people from differing cultural backgrounds who may not have been taught God's laws for healthy living. "Shun sexual immorality," St. Paul had to write to the Corinthians, for example, because the Corinthians' culture, like our own, had made sex an object of workship. The Jews had been chastized over the centuries for such practices, and had learned that lesson. At the time of Christ, worship of the True God and expectation of the Messiah was part of the air all the Jews breathed.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Linking to ProLife


This link is to meet a requirement for being connected to ProLifeBlogs.
I just want to post the blog I wrote about the prolife march in San Francisco today.

Walk for Life San Francisco 2006--The Carmelite Connection

One of our Santa Clara lay Carmelites, Jim Fahey, is in the second row, tall, with sunglasses, to the left of the burgundy St. Thomas Aquinas banner

The March for Life in San Francisco was thrilling yesterday. The march started at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero around noon with the skies drizzly and overcast. It ended about two hours later at the Marina Green. Close to the end we crested the top of the wooded hill between Fisherman's Wharf and Fort Mason to be greeted by a beautiful a view framed by trees of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, and the Marina in brilliant sunshine before us.

Some reported that there were about 15,000 of us, more than double the size of last year's march, and I heard that there were far fewer protesters than last year.

After enduring the pro-abortion hecklers that did show up along the way, especially during a long pause at the beginning of the march when they were in our faces with their bullhorns, signs and insulting chants for 15 minutes, several marchers told me they were reminded of Christ's experience on Via Dolorosa.

Some of the chants follow (my retorts are in parentheses, but we weren't supposed to answer back, so I *mostly* kept my mouth shut):

Get your rosaries out of our ovaries. (We're trying to reach your hearts and souls with our prayers to the Mother of God, not your ovaries.)

If you don't like abortions, don't have one.
(Who actually has a soul so dead as to like abortion?)
If you don't like contraception, don't use it.
If you don't like sex, don't have it.
(If you don't want children, don't misuse the gift of God.)

Christian fascists, get out of town.
(I really have to bite my tongue on this one, since I can think of some names to retort with that would not be charitable.)
When abortion is illegal, women die.
(When abortion is legal, babies, women, men, families
and communities are casualties.)

One sign I saw a lot of called us, "Christian terrorists."

A lot of the pro-abortion protesters dressed in black, looking like Ninja warriors. Some that wore bandanas over their noses and mouths looked like mutant ninja bandits.

Many of them carried coat hangers.

It was odd how many posters were against Bush and Alioto. What did they think? We were going to bring Bush down if they only convinced us to?

A line of police walked between us and the protesters in close formation. There were hundreds of police on motorcycles too. Regina, who I drove up with, wonders why we are the ones who needed to be protected if we're as bad as the pro-aborts think we are. I later read that a pro-abortion news feed claims that some protesters tried to stop the march until the police removed them.

The marchers did not heckle back to the hecklers. Some of us said the rosary or sang quietly. Those who had signs held them up silently. Most of the pro Life signs were simple black and white and they read, "Women deserve better than abortion."

Two teenagers carried a hand painted sign: "We're survivors." I asked them what that meant, and they said, "One third of our generation was aborted!" How true and what a horrid thing to realize.

Many others carried signs that read "I regret my abortion."

I drove up from Santa Clara with two other lay Carmelites (OCDS) who meet at the monastery of the Infant Jesus, Dave and Regina Dittmann and Art (a regular from Our Lady of Peace shrine). We parked at the end of the march route, and we had a disquieting couple of minutes because we joined the march from the front. Suddenly we realized we'd inadvertently started walking with the pro-abortionists on the sidewalk. We quickly ran to join our own side marching down the middle of the Embarcadero, practically colliding with Jim Fahey [who was on the Israel pilgrimage] and who is also an OCDS, who was close to the front of the line. He's 6' 4" tall so he's hard to miss. He was busy with the Bishop's honor guard (that's what I think he said).

I shot a couple of rolls of film. Whenever I stopped to take photos, people crashed into me, so I can't guarantee the photos are going to be in focus.

I started in the parking lot of Our Lady of Peace in San Jose taking photos of our eighty-two year old Santa Clara OCDS member Jean Foord getting ready to board the bus to the abortion walk. She was standing in front of her pro-Life bumper sticker bedecked older model car (an exemplary Carmelite car), holding the sign she brings to all such events. She joins a group praying in front of a Sunnyvale abortion clinic once a month. I also have another photo of Regina and Dave (with Art) similarly in front of the Dittmann's pro-life bumper sticker bedecked 1986 Buick (another exemplary Carmelite car) getting ready to drive up to the march.

Other shots are from right in the middle of the marchers, and some of the San Francisco backdrops and photos of the pro abortion protesters should be good. I will be posting those photos online in about a week. Some of them might be used in a San Francisco Faith newspaper article in March.

(I queried the editor about my writing a piece on the march, but he already had it covered. But he wants to use my planned interview with Jewish convert Roy Schoeman [which he pronounces "Show Man" BTW], so stay tuned for that. The interview won't be in until April, since we can't do the interview by the 30th deadline because Roy has that Florida conference.)

Near the end of the Saturday march, Dave, Regina, Art, and I paused and watched the remaining marchers file past us. We had a brief Carmelite reunion when we ran into Anita Sullins (another OCDS) for a few minutes and then found Father Christopher, our spiritual advisor, Erin (OCDS formation director ) and his mother, Jean Foord. Father had just prayed with and helped a woman who had had a seizure a few minutes earlier.

After they left, for about a half hour from our vantage point near the Marina Green we watched marcher after marcher continue to file down from the top of the hill that separates Fisherman's Wharf from Fort Mason. The numbers were very impressive.

I was startled to see a heavy man towards the end of the line wearing a sign "Gay and Lesbians Against Abortion." Another Carmelite, Marilou Mills, wrote me yesterday to tell me that she teaches with that man who bravely carried that sign. His name is Steve, and he told her he was heckled unmercifully. I'm afraid the heckling was from both sides. I'm sorry that I avoided eye contact with him, and I told her that I think he is a very brave man to stand up against the evil of abortion. I admire his courage.

82 year old Jean Foord might have been among the oldest at the walk. A friend of Regina and Dave's who was there with her husband and four other children is about five months pregnant, so she might have been carrying the youngest, not yet born. (Not a choice either, a child, it must be noted, especially in the context of this day.)

The short course in Carmelite Spirituality: Fr. Christopher explains it all to Holy Cross

Hello OCDS from the Santa Clara Carmel of the Infant Jesus,

This morning at 8:30 mass at Holy Cross Church, Fr. Christopher presided. (I'd last seen him at 2 yesterday afternoon towards the tail end of the March for Life in San Francisco. Most of us OCDS who attended had a brief Carmelite encounter together for a few minutes at the end of the day. More about that in a separate email.)

"Hi, Father Christopher," I said as I ducked past him in the Holy Cross vestibule on my way to the choir loft. "We meet again," he said.

Out of the three readings and the Psalm for today, Fr. Christopher somehow managed to give a homily that was a short course on Carmelite spirituality for the parishioners in the pews, weaving in quotes from our holy mother St. Teresa and from St. Therese, our two women doctors of the Church.

He concluded that we should start with one minute a day, going inside ourselves with God, into that Interior Castle, that faceted crystal full of light. He also compared it to a beautiful garden. The God that we meet there is beyond all of our longings.

After we do that for a minute at a time, we will of course be drawn to spending two minutes, then three and more. And then we will come to know that being with God within us is to be highly desired more than any of our other activities.

We could use that kind of talk as an incentive for us OCDS members to spend our required amount of time in contemplative prayer. How about this for an idea? We could make posters with slogans to bring in new members:

Come to Know the God of Our Longings On One Minute A Day.

Back to Basics: Live the First Commandment First

Hooked on Contemplation: Mysticism For Everybody

As we say Fr. Christopher's homework assignment over and over again, Thy Kingdom Come, we will come to know the rest of it:

The Kingdom of God is within you.

Just riffing on the theme,

In Carmel,

(That reminds me of a quote I once read from a Carmelite Mother Teresa Bilecki. Mysticism isn't sublimated sex. Sex is sublimated mysticism.)

Wedding Prayer

I wrote this wedding prayer off the top of my head when a friend
said she was going to a wedding in Minneapolis and asked me
to send her something.

Creator of the Universe, God of Love, You created marriage as a sign of
Your self-giving total love for us Your people.

Thank You for Jesus's miracle at the Wedding at Cana, where He showed
that Your concern extends even to the smallest details of our happiness.
Be with us too at this marriage feast and fill any empty places in our
hearts with the joyful Wine of Your Presence.

Thank You for the example You set in Your love for us. Give all of us
the grace we need to follow Your example in the unconditional love we take
from you and give to one another.

We ask Your blessings on this marriage. Bless this union of this woman
and this man.

Give their families and friends the grace to support the unbreakable
bond that they
are forming. Be with them as they walk together through the joys and
satisfactions and the inevitable disappointments and sorrows of this

Thank You that Your Love brought us all into being. Bless the children
that will come into being because of their love and Your Love.

Let their first love be for You and let that love guide them to eternal
life in heaven with You.

We ask this with grateful hearts this day through Your Son, Jesus Christ.