It is characteristic of our age to endeavour to replace virtues by technology. That is to say, wherever possible we strive to use methods of physical or social engineering to achieve goals which our ancestors thought attainable only by the training of character. Thus we try so far as possible to make contraception take the place of chastity, and anesthetics to take the place of fortitude; we replace resignation by insurance policies and munificence by the Welfare state. It would be idle romanticism to deny that such techniques and institutions are often less painful and more efficient methods of achieving the goods and preventing the evils which unaided virtue once sought to achieve and avoid. But it would be an equal and opposite folly to hope that the take-over of virtue by technology may one day be complete.
There is a gift that is almost a blow, and there is a kind word that is munificence; so much is there in the way of doing things.
It seems to me that the best way will be the one that is most gentle and forbearing, which is more in conformity with the Spirit of Our Lord and more apt to win hearts.
The American constitutions were to liberty, what a grammar is to language: they define its parts of speech and practically construct them into syntax.