Howdy.

We would like to wish all of our dear supporters a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Some of you may have noticed that the newsletter took a hiatus during the Christmas season; you can expect it to return to its normal
Thursday slot next week.

We have just passed two-hundred subscribers. We are very grateful to all of you for your continued support. More news and details about the first issue will be included in the next two newsletters. Subscriptions can be purchased here for sixty dollars. If you have any questions about subscriptions, please send us an email at subscriptions@thelampmagazine.com.

Last time we asked our readers to tell us some of their favorite villains. Here they are: Iago, Darth Vader (and Anakin), Darth Sidious, Mrs. Danvers, Professor James Moriarty, the autopilot from WALL-E, the butler in The Aristocats, Thanos, Gaston, Catwoman, the Joker, Inspector Javert, Cruella de Vil, Frank Underwood/Francis Urqhart, Count Fenring, Rodion Raskolnikov, Cartman, Disney’s Monseigneur Frollo, Moby-Dick (the whale itself), Kenneth Widmerpool, Disney’s Jafar, Disney’s Hades, Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, Grima Wormtongue, Dr. Blifil, Disney’s Scar, Captain Hook, Vito Corleone, Commodus (in Gladiator), Smerdyakov Karamazov, Caliban, Snape, Long John Silver, The Trunchbull from Matilda, Mama Fratelli, Smiley’s Karla, Colonel Wickham, General Woundwart, Mike Ehrmantraut, and The Rock (when he was corporate).

This week’s poll can be found here.

As always, feel free to send us questions here or newsletter mailbag items (especially your prayer requests) here. Follow us on Twitter at @thelampmagazine.

Numbers:

• Deaths by opioid overdose are eighty five percent higher in areas where the local auto plants have closed in the past five years.

Fifty three percent of recent American veterans report suffering from chronic physical issues, and thirty three percent suffer from chronic mental issues.

• Massive floods in Jakarta have displaced sixty thousand people and killed at least thirty since New Year’s Eve.

• Wildfires in the Australian state of New South Wales have already destroyed over one thousand homesand killed eighteen people. Over one-hundred twenty fires are burning across the state, almost half of which are uncontained.

***

News:

• Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has created a foundation for the promotion of Catholic journalism in Germany: the Tagespost Foundation for Catholic Journalism (Tagespost Stiftung für katholische Publizistik).

• Archaeologists working in Ethiopia have discovered the oldest known church in sub-Saharan Africa, thought to have been built in the kingdom of Aksum during the reign of Emperor Constantine I.

• Google’s former head of global international relations says the company has failed to operate according to its “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, particularly in its dealings with the Chinese government.

• Segway has announced the release of a new self-balancing personal vehicle: an egg-shaped wheelchair.

Lines (prose and verse):

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

—ᴛᴇɴɴʏsᴏɴ

***

We ask Panem Quotidianum, our daily bread, and God never says, you should have come yesterday; he never sayes you must againe tomorrow, but today if you will heare His voice, today he will heare you.God made Sun and Moon to distinguish seasons, and day and night, and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons: But God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of his mercies. In paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute, and in heaven it is alwaies Autumne; His mercies are ever in their maturity.

If some King of the earth have so large an extent of Dominion, in North and South, as that he hath Winter and Summer together in his Dominions, much more hath God mercy and judgment together; He brought light out of darknesse, not out of a lesser light; He can bring thy Summer out of Winter, though thou have no Spring; though in the wayes of fortune, or understanding, or conscience, thou have been benighted till now – wintred and frozen, clouded and eclypsed, damped and benummed, smothered and stupefied till now – now God comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the Spring, but as the Sun at noon, to illustrate all shadowes, as the sheaves in the harvest, to fill all penuries. All occasions invite His mercies, and all times are His seasons.

—Dᴏɴɴᴇ

***

When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
Fair peace on earth to bring,
In lowly state of love He came
To be the children’s King.

And round Him, then, a holy band
Of children blest was born,
Fair guardians of His throne to stand
Attendant night and morn.

And unto them this grace was giv’n
A Saviour’s name to own,
And die for Him Who out of Heav’n
Had found on earth a throne.

O blessèd babes of Bethlehem,
Who died to save our King,
Ye share the martyrs’ diadem,
And in their anthem sing!

Your lips, on earth that never spake,
Now sound th’eternal word;
And in the courts of love ye make
Your children’s voices heard.

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Child,
Make Thou our childhood Thine;
That we with Thee the meek and mild
May share the love divine.

—Hᴏᴜsᴍᴀɴ

We ask readers to pray for those threatened by the wild fires in Australia and by the threat of war in the Middle East, for the success of a new anti-abortion measure in the state of Michigan, for expectant mothers, for the cause of Ven. Frederic Baraga, and for the intentions of the Holy Father.

— W.B., M.W.