The humor is entirely consistent with a spiritual world view. The most humorless people I’ve ever known are ardent atheists. Many Catholic writers have been howlingly funny, not least of all Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene in books like TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, Dorothy Sayers, certainly the singular G.K. Chesterton. We once had a party, about sixty people, and half a dozen were friends who were monks. There was also an avowed atheist present. The evening was marked by much laughter and high good spirits. Near the end, the atheist said to me, in astonishment, “The monks are very funny. You must be playing a joke on us. They can’t really be monks.” When I assured him that monks—they were all priests as well—are usually highly accomplished, deeply educated, and nearly always amusing, he looked at me as if I were insane. He said, “But they’re Catholics.” At other functions, he had met and liked numerous other friends of ours, but he had no idea that many of them were Catholics—or that I was. When I noted this, his eyes widened even further. The Catholic view of the human condition is fundamentally tragic, but that does not mean that we are required to be glum. Indeed, quite the opposite. The human condition may be tragic, but we have been given a beautiful world to enjoy and the promise of eternity, and if we are open to the grace of God, we must be happy because faith and hope and happiness are the proper reaction to what we’ve been given. The fact that in many of my books—such as LIFE EXPECTANCY and ONE DOOR AWAY FROM HEAVEN and THE FACE and TICKTOCK—comedy is as big an element as suspense…well, that seems to me to be the natural consequence of my Catholicism!