We are immensely pleased to say that our first issue is being sent to the printer this week. We expect it to arrive to our subscribers at the end of this February or beginning of March. We have ordered a fixed number of extra copies of the first issue, which are available for purchase on our website (which will also be receiving a  facelift soon!) for seventeen dollars (or twenty-eight dollars internationally).


This week’s poll results include a selection of our reader’s jokes (only the appropriate ones, sorry):

• An optimist, a pessimist, and a blind man are discussing the future. “Well, at least things can’t get any worse,” says the optimist. “Oh, they’ll get much, much worse,” says the pessimist. “We’ll see,” says the blind man.

• How do you get down off an elephant? You don’t, you get down off a duck.

• My cousin worked at a cemetery until he buried someone in the wrong place and got fired. It was a grave mistake.

• A lawyer and a priest die and go to heaven. St. Peter is working the registration desk and assigning housing to the new arrivals. He gives the priest the keys to a condominium, and he gives the lawyer the keys to a mansion. “Wait a minute,” says the priest. “I gave my life in service to God and his Church. How come I am stuck with a lousy condo, and the lawyer gets a mansion?” “Well,” says St. Peter, “There’s only one of him…”

• Sal, Paco, and Paddy—are taking lunch on an exposed girder of the skyscraper they are building. Sal opens his lunch pail: “Salami again? Swear to God, if it’s salami again tomorrow I will jump from this girder.” Paco opens his lunch pail: “Beans and rice again? If it’s beans and rice tomorrow, Sal, I will join you.” Paddy opens his lunch: “Corned beef hash again? If it’s hash again tomorrow, I’m following you both down.” The next day at lunch, Sal opens his lunch pail, finds salami, curses, and jumps to his death. Paco opens his lunch, finds rice and beans, and follows. Paddy finds corned beef and follows his friends to the beyond. Days later at a joint wake, the widows are lamenting. Sal’s wife wails, “If only I had listened and given him something different!” Paco’s wife agrees: “My beloved would still be here if only I’d made him a taco!” There is a silence and the room looks to Paddy’s wife, who shrugs: “Don’t look at me! He packed his own lunch!”

• A rope walks into a bar. The bartender leans over and says “Hey, we don’t serve ropes here.” The rope says “Rats!” and walks out. “I’m getting in there!” he vows. So he ties himself up and messes up his hair and walks into the bar again. The bartender says, “Hey, I thought I said: we don’t serve ropes here.” “I’m not a rope.” The bartender squints at him: “You’re not a rope.” “Nope. I’m a frayed knot.”

The other responses are a bit less exciting. Most of you are cotton enthusiasts, with some linen and merino aficionados throughout. A third of you write beautifully by hand; the rest, not so much. 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.


• Jeff Bezos recently purchased a home in Beverly Hills for one-hundred sixty-five million dollars. This figure is a said to be a record. It also represents barely one-tenth of one percent of his net worth. An equivalent sum for the average American household would be about eighty seven dollars.

• Something called WhatsApp is “worth” two billion dollars—to whom, we are not sure, we are just reporting figures. As one has come to expect of these technology concerns, the company claims that it is not subject to the authority of the state.

• Another company that does things on the internet is “laying off” five-hundred fifty employees, i.e., depriving them of their just and due wages in order to increase profits by some fraction.

• Remains of an ancient horned turtle have been discovered which suggest that in addition to having a ten-foot shell this alarming-sounding creature must have weighed more than two-thousand five-hundred pounds.

• The decaying corpses of more than two thousand children have been found at the home of an abortionist in Indiana.


The news in one paragraph:

This week the Holy Father released his long-awaited post-synodal apostolic exhortation; churches closed in Hong Kong and are set to remain shuttered at least through Ash Wednesday due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus; permanent parish closings and mergers were announced in the Archdiocese of Chicago; wildfires appeared to be contained in New South Wales, Australia; a judge halted Microsoft’s work on a contract for the Pentagon to which Amazon claims it was entitled; a state university in East Lansing, Michigan, hired a coach for its Division I football program; the rapper formerly known as “Snoop Lion” apologized to a television news personality for offensive comments he had posted on a photograph-sharing website; and authorities in Miami offered rewards for information related to the culprit in a slew of dolphin killings.

Lines (verse and prose):

Our landwind is the breath
Of sorrows kiss’d to death
And joys that were;
Our ballast is a rose;
Our way lies where God knows
And love knows where.
We are in love’s hand to-day;
Where shall we go?

— Gᴀᴜᴛɪᴇʀ (trans. Sᴡɪɴʙᴜʀɴᴇ)


Darknesse and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory, a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest stroaks of affliction leave but short smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or themselves. To weep into stones are fables. Afflictions induce callosities, miseries are slippery, or fall like snow upon us, which notwithstanding is no unhappy stupidity. To be ignorant of evils to come, and forgetfull of evils past, is a mercifull provision in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil dayes, and our delivered senses not relapsing into cutting remembrances, our sorrows are not kept raw by the edge of repetitions. A great part of Antiquity contented their hopes of subsistency with a transmigration of their souls. A good way to continue their memories, while having the advantage of plurall successions, they could not but act something remarkable in such variety of beings, and enjoying the fame of their passed selves, make accumulation of glory unto their last durations. Others rather then be lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing, were content to recede into the common being, and make one particle of the publick soul of all things, which was no more then to return unto their unknown and divine Originall again. Ægyptian ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet consistences, to attend the return of their souls. But all was vanity, feeding the winde, and folly. The Ægyptian Mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummie is become Merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsoms

— Bʀᴏᴡɴᴇ


There is no peace beneath the moon—
Ah! in those meadows is there peace
Where, girdled with a silver fleece,
As a bright shepherd, strays the moon?

Queen of the gardens of the sky,
Where stars like lilies, white and fair,
Shine through the mists of frosty air,
Oh, tarry, for the dawn is nigh!

Oh, tarry, for the envious day
Stretches long hands to catch thy feet.
Alas! but thou art overfleet,
Alas! I know thou wilt not stay.

— Wɪʟᴅᴇ

From the mailbag, a number of queries:

What types of stores will feature the magazine?

So far the only interest has been from a few small Catholic booksellers.

What is your thought on Sulla?

Our editor finds his table manners worthy of the highest esteem and otherwise thinks his mode of life regrettable at best.

What happened to Matthew’s Saints of the Week email?

The project did not seem to generate enough interest to justify the amount of work it required. The author and compiler enjoyed it immensely, however. 

When will Tʜᴇ Lᴀᴍᴘ be organizing its first cruise?

Having read the title essay in David Foster Wallace’s Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, we hope never.

Will there be book recommendations in this magazine?

There will be at least four book reviews in each issue.

Which old NCAA conference would you bring back, if you could?

That’s easy: the old Big East. Get Maryland and Rutgers out of the Big Ten (and replace them with Pitt and Iowa State), let historic rivalries resume, and keep basketball schools from being a nuisance during football season.

A reader writes: “Please pray for some friends whose marriage is in deep, deep trouble.”


We ask readers to pray for all expectant mothers, for imprisoned persons, for those suffering from illness, for women religious, for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, and for the intentions of the Holy Father.

— W.B., M.W.