Something is funny, most of all, because it's true, and because the velocity of insight into this truth exceeds our normal standards. Something is funny because it's outside our accepted boundary of decorum. Something is funny because it defies our expectations. Something is funny because it offers a temporary reprieve from the hardship of seeing the world as it actually is. Something is funny because it is able to suggest gently that even the worst of our circumstances and sins is subject to eventual mercy.
It was the Faith which gradually and indirectly transformed the slave into the serf, and the serf into the free peasant. . . . You will not be able to set up in a pagan or an heretical or a wholly indifferent society the institutions characteristic of economic freedom; you will not be able to curb competition which alone would be sufficient to destroy such freedom, nor pursue permanently and consecutively anyone part of the program. The thing must be done as a whole, and it can be done as a whole only by the ambient influence of Catholicism.