Some reputable scientists, even today, are not wholly satisfied with the notion that the song of birds is strictly and solely a territorial claim…It could be that a bird sings: I am sparrow, sparrow, sparrow, as Gerard Manley Hopkins suggests: “myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came.”

…Today I watched and heard a wren, a sparrow, and the mockingbird singing. My brain started to trill why why why, what is the meaning meaning meaning? …Surely they don’t even know why they sing. No; we have been as usual askng the wrong question.

It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird is singing. If the mockingbird were chirping to give us the long-sought formulae for a unified field theory, the point would be only slightly less irrelevant. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? …If the lyric is simply “mine mine mine,” then why the extravagance of the score?

–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Your unworthy servant feebly seeks vanaprastha in a moutain wood. I miss you, and I am grateful for your prayers for me.

…An old friend has written a short story and a novella.

The author has no means of publishing these pieces himself, so I publish them here.

“President Wilson and the Other Dead People I Talked To” (no longer available–author’s request)

“West-East Highway”


Who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? (Revelation 17:4) …She reaches out to all states, even to the supreme and illustrious state of the sanctuary and divine priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place… She hardly leaves a man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice, which is vain joy in natural beauty.

–St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book III, chap. 22

Good Old War “That’s Some Dream”

16 thoughts on “Publications

  1. Dear Mark, I read your essays; are you sure you should bare so much of your soul in a public fashion? Many of us love you, but there are also “other” prying eyes and a few might not understand. We cannot live very long in this world without suffering, testing, failure and loss. We make plenty of mistakes, but you know the kerygma as well as I do— light in the darkness, victory in the passion and resurrection from death. Whatever comes, do not allow the shadows of depression and loneliness to utterly envelop you. Every good priest is a wounded healer. Can hearts really love unless they are broken? Jesus’ sacred heart was set aflame and pierced, so great was his love. The sacrifices we make are made real when we fall in love and we all fall in love. We are not machines, but men. Our Lord gave us the sacraments and his mercy because he knew we were weak and bound to fail. We are all failures. But we can know forgiveness, and by the gift of grace, grow in holiness still. Those who feign piety and obedience have forgotten this and only go through the motions. God wants us to be honest with ourselves and others— how can we witness the truth if we, ourselves, are not genuine and faithful? You probably have plenty of supports and friends, but if you ever need another shoulder to lean upon, you can contact me (frjoe2000@yahoo) or just drop by.

  2. Fr. White you are one of the most kind hearted, warm and loving people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, have as a friend and co-worker. As a layperson I often marveled at your intuitiveness towards everyone you met. God is and always will be with you. Your Catholic family loves you and will be here for you in whatever capacity is right for you as you go along in your journey. May God’s Grace and Light guide you.

    I’m posting who I am as I have always been most comfortable as a behind the scenes type of person but feel very strongly on wanting you to know that regardless of what happens you will always have my love and support. You are truly a great man.


  3. Dear Fr. White,
    Do you read these comments? I would first recommend you heed Fr. Joe’s advice and his offer, certainly before you listen to me, a complete stranger; I have worked in different dioceses and different parishes and seen marriages or the priest himself destroyed by similar circumstances. But on the whole, I have seen far more Holy Men of God, Alter Christi. Comments from a friend, a recently ordained young man, certainly coming from the elation of the ceremony – surely you have been reflecting on your own ordination day for these many weeks – speak to you of “the biggest grace, in hindsight, is that the Lord has made it clear that ordination is truly a laying down of my own life…I am no longer my own…and I have seen that this is not cute poetry but a reality. God chose me – and that includes everything that makes up who I am (my strengths, my weaknesses, my dreams, etc.) – and called me to be a minister in the Church…what a mystery!” Please be assured of my prayers for you, especially in the prayer of our parish’s Holy Hour for Priests: Lord, the enemy of our souls knows the good that a single priest can do for the Church, and he never ceases to lay traps for those Christ has called, tempting them to cowardice and to be more selfish and less sacrificial. Moreover, each one you call has to overcome the atmosphere of the world and his own passions. We ask you to strengthen their souls and grant them the generosity and courage to reject firmly anything that could endanger fidelity. Lord, help those you call to be generous.

  4. My Father and Brother,

    All is well on the Hilltop, with the Hoyas back on the hardwood preparing for another season. Off-seasons are good for us all. Looking forward to hanging upon your return. Be assured of my prayers and love, always. I remain,

    Your Deacon

  5. Father Mark,

    Welcome back; the congregation of the World is once again blessed with your company. Thoreau, no; Mogli, yes. There’s not a sound in the forest that doesn’t have meaning; but the sound that lies in the silence is the eternal, bigger than all of us, yet a part of all. It is a place where you can find nothing, yet find yourself.



  6. Dear Pere Grey,
    thank you for posting, i was rewatching the LOTR the other night and began to worry watching the scene of biblo’s 111st birthday again. so perhaps its not the end. i am always here for you brother. pax. pere grimm

  7. So good to hear from you again. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Phyllis Trexler

  8. Just ended up her by accident or serendidpity.

    Tbh, I find bird song annoying, especially at 4am on a summers morning when you’re trying to sleep.

  9. Fr.

    I wonder if you have any clue that Your essay about other dead people is doing incredible harm to people that you “supposedly” Love as well as to the body of Christ. Perhaps you are so self absorbed that you don’t even care.

    If you have any compassion you will remove it before you cause anymore pain.

  10. Fr.

    I wonder if you are aware that your essay about dead people is causing tremendous harm to people you “supposedly” love, as well as the body of Christ. Perhaps you are just to self absorbed to care.

    If you have any compassion you will remove it.

  11. I have very limited internet access these days, so I rarely have the opportunity to check in here.

    I am sorry that some readers of this little blog got the wrong idea. Perhaps I did not explain things as I should have. My friend’s short story and novella should not be understood as anyone’s biography. They are his attempt to paint some pictures.

    I thought they were worth reading. Others are free to disagree, even to protest that they are disedifying.

    I don’t think they are disedifying, but honest people can think differently about such things.

    Please, however, dear reader: Do not confuse the author of these writings with me. Perhaps I am terribly self-absorbed, but I have too much compassion for the man who wrote these things to stand silently by while he is identified with someone so unworthy as myself.

  12. Dear Tom and Jim,
    I understand that the essays are painful to read. But how are they causing tremendous harm?

    They definitely paint a vivid picture of the human condition at one of its most painful points, but I fail to see what harm is being perpetuated on the Body of Christ. No sin was described. Is there sin in accepting a phone call? My impression is that the author erected a “ten foot barricaded fence” around himself to come to terms with a sudden reality of emotion, that can be a temptation for us all.

    The biggest suffering to the Body of Christ, as I see it, is that the Church Militant must fight without one of it’s shepherds for awhile.

    Compassion dictates that we allow suffering souls to reach out for healing in the best way they can. And pray; for them, and for ourselves that we will be understanding and strengthened through trial.

    May God bless and Mary protect ALL of us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s