Hello.

The results of last week’s poll are as follows: half of our readers prefer to purchase expensive goods that they make to last a long time; one quarter of our readers prefer to be cheaper goods that they’ll replace in a short time; the rest said it all depends on the item.

Some of our Lenten sacrifices include: abstention from coffee, alcohol, social media, food before noon, streaming services, Twitter, meat, restaurants, sweets, Facebook, dessert, secular radio, Internet, smoking, sarcasm, daytime snacks, podcasts, dairy, movies, music, TV, extra sleep, cheese, fast food, late nights, pastries, pasta, food delivery, online shopping, chocolate, video games, and beer.

Some of our Lenten devotions include: reading the Gospel and praying the rosary daily, saying the Divine Mercy chaplet, speaking gently, extra housework, fifteen minutes of daily silent prayer, Exodus 90, praying daily with spouse, a weekly hour of adoration, alms to the poor, daily holy hour, praying the Little Office, kneeling during the rosary, and waking early for morning prayers.

This summer, to keep cool, our readers will be consuming water, beer, gins & tonic, coke, cucumber sandwiches, Pimm’s cups, lemonade, iced coffee, ice cream, margaritas, salads, earl grey iced tea, gazpacho, pickles, Peach cobbler, chardonnay, Arnold Palmer, Trader Joe’s watermelon mint tea, kvas, milkshakes, martinis, sushni, cold sesame noodles, šaltibarščiai, watermelon, cucumber gimlets, sweet tea, seltzer, Tom Collins, St. Louis spare ribs, mint juleps, Chartreuse on vanilla ice cream, and popsicles.

This week’s poll can be found here.

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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:

• The government of Hungary has spent forty million dollars since 2017 in aid of Middle Eastern Christians, funding the reconstruction of churches and Christian communities. In Lebanon alone, the money has been used to rebuild thirty-three churches.

• A large asteroid (two and half miles wide) is expected to pass the Earth by at a speed of twenty thousand miles per hour next month. There is almost no chance it will collide with our planet, and will most likely be invisible to the eye as it passes at almost twenty times the distance of the Earth to the moon.

• Studies have found that the people who benefit most from napping tend to sleep six hours or less per night; people who sleep longer at night are able to nap, but experience slowed motor functionality upon waking and find it difficult to fall asleep later that night. Apparently this difference may be genetic.

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News:

• Pope Francis’s prayer intention in the month of March is for the faith and unity of Catholics in China.

• The federal government of Canada is proposing to eliminate the requirement for those seeking euthanasia that they be reasonably close to death; this change would permit nearly anyone to request that a doctor kill them, for “psychological” reasons.

• Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter have all pledged to continue paying their hourly workers and vendors a full paycheck, even if the number of hours they are asked to work is reduced due to coronavirus containment measures.

Lines:

Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future’s endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.

Wrong or justice, joy or sorrow,
In the present what are they
while there’s always jam-tomorrow,
While we tread the onward way?
Never knowing where we’re going,
We can never go astray.

To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.

Ask not if it’s god or devil,
Brethren, lest your words imply
Static norms of good and evil
(As in Plato) throned on high;
Such scholastic, inelastic,
Abstract yardsticks we deny.

Far too long have sages vainly
Glossed great Nature’s simple text;
He who runs can read it plainly,
‘Goodness = what comes next.’
By evolving, Life is solving
All the questions we perplexed.

Oh then! Value means survival-
Value. If our progeny
Spreads and spawns and licks each rival,
That will prove its deity
(Far from pleasant, by our present,
Standards, though it may well be).

— C.S. Lᴇᴡɪs

Cʜʀɪs would like to request prayers for his mother who underwent surgery for cancer today. News has been good so far and prayers are appreciated.

J.M. writes: “If there’s room in this issue, might I beg your readers’ prayers for my friend Monty, who could use a miracle for his immigration status, or a good dose of hope, if that doesn’t happen?”

Cᴏɴᴏʀ asks: “Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Marcin Zahuta, pastor for the University of South Carolina. Pray also for his family and the community at St. Thomas More in Columbia, SC grieving for him.”

Oɴᴇ Rᴇᴀᴅᴇʀ writes: “Although I must take your word for it that prior to this week’s newsletter, you’d never mentioned the current POTUS by name therein, he did appear by name in this week’s newsletter as a famous person a reader had met. Also, I apologize profusely for this pedantry.”

Aɴᴏᴛʜᴇʀ requests: “Please pray for my friend’s mother, who is entering hospice care.”

A Fᴜʀᴛʜᴇʀ Rᴇᴀᴅᴇʀ shares: “The very attempt towards pleasing everybody discovers a temper always flashy, and often false and insincere. … It is not to be imagined how much of service is lost from spirits full of activity and full of energy, who are pressing, who are rushing forward, to great and capital objects, when you oblige them to be continually looking back. Whilst they are defending one service, they defraud you of a hundred. Applaud us when we run; console us when we fall; cheer us when we recover; but let us pass on – for God’s sake, let us pass on.” Burke, of course. God bless your work.

We ask our readers to pray for all the suffering, sick, and home-bound across the world, for persistence in our Lenten devotions, and for the intentions of the Holy Father.

— W.B., M.W.