Alcohol, How much is too much?

I usually only drink maybe 1-2 times during the week if at all. This past week I went to a party because I hadn’t gone to one in a very long time and I played a couple drinking games. I never blacked out, never was in a position to drive (and I would’ve called an Uber anyway had it been the case), I did have a hang over in the morning because I forgot to drink water before bed. I even prayed a rosary at the end of the night because I forgot to say my daily prayer earlier that day.

My friend called me later after hearing about this event and said he was concerned I had committed a mortal sin. Now I want to ask, did I commit a mortal sin? I drank to enjoy myself with friends with no sorts of temptations etc. during that same night or at the party. My friend is a traditional catholic so I’m assuming he’s more strict on himself etc.

I even called my priest up and he said that more than one drink was too much. Am I crazy or did I just never know the Catholic teaching on alcohol?

*I am of age, BTW

That is your priest’s opinion, not the doctrine of the Church.

Assuming you are of legal drinking age, read what the Catechism tells us:

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess : the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.


one step ahead of you haha (just read it), but it doesn’t define was excess is…

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This was kinda what I was trying to figure out:

I had thought to myself previously if “the limit” is defined as blacking out then that’s a lot (or a little) of drinks from person to person, I wish it was a more clear definition then the current one.

Part of me thinks there has to be some way of finding out how much is too much, I’ve always held that as long as you can control yourself you are good. For anyone else responding, I’m open to you saying that I was in the wrong, I want to be right with God and righteously receive the Eucharist. Kinda why I asked the question in the first place.

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Uh…becoming addicted to alcohol is not unique to Indians (I assume you mean Native Americans, not people from India).


Because excess is different for me than it is for someone else.

Avoid excess.

One moves to grave matter (one req for mortal sin) when we put ourselves or others in danger.


Yes, I have heard that they (natives) are more easily addicted than other ethnic groups. So if someone knew that they would become an addict from their first drink, I would think of it as irresponsible for them to drink. I was using them as an example of easily addicted people, not uniquely addicted. Alcoholism has been in my family, I’m not indian, but I don’t drink either and never will because of that and other reasons.

“Like Indians” was an unnecessary addition to your post.


I do not want to second-guess your priest, who knows you, but I doubt that most priests I know would tell people that more than one was too much unless the priests suspected an alcohol problem blossoming. I currently only drink a few times a year, but when I do drink I will often have 2 or 3 drinks, with food, over several hours in a non-driving situation. I have also been in social drinking situations with priests who are not shy about pulling somebody aside and lecturing them on sin, and let’s just say the priests weren’t stopping anyone who was having 2-3 drinks and doing okay with that. In fact the priests were often having 2 themselves.

Having said that, I see a bunch of red flags with your post that may have caused your priest to say what he did to you:

  1. You played drinking games. Not a good idea. Alcohol is meant to be enjoyed as food is enjoyed, not in a game context where the point is usually to get drunk.

  2. You had a hangover. Not good.

  3. You’re receiving and asking for outside opinions on this instead of having a conscience developed enough to know when you crossed the line.

So maybe cut it back like your priest said until you have a better handle on all this.


In general, “how much is too much” is a matter of prudence and there is no one right answer. That said, the mortal sin of drunkenness is when one deliberately drinks to the point of impairing reason. It doesn’t mean getting tipsy. It means choosing to drink so much you can no longer clearly discern right from wrong. For me, as a big guy, that’s quite a lot of drinks… but I may want to limit myself for other reasons such as health.


Thanks, honestly none of this is making me feel better about the situation so I’ll just go confess it whether it was mortal or not.

The reason I ask is because both the people I asked (priest and friend) are very traditional and honestly I can’t tell where the limit/opinion starts and stops. But I appreciate your input.

Yes, I have “northern blood” to avoid stereotyping anybody lol but my tolerance is up there. Which is why I have a problem with someone telling me one is too much haha.

Well, you know and I know traditionalist priests tend to be more strict.

I mostly hang around with the usual Irish and Italian and German regular parish ordinary form priests and deacons. Most parish social events involve beer and wine. Unless a priest is avoiding alcohol for reasons of health or because he has an alcohol problem, the priests take a moderate position on social drinking, and they have drinks too.

I would say anyone who can say a whole rosary without passing out is not drunk.


Gata do my daily rosary! (have to stay on the team - from Taylor Marshall) lol


Ask Mary to help you know how much is too much and how to drink responsibly. She’s the one who asked Jesus to help with the wine :slight_smile:


And that was a party…and people enjoyed the wine ;).

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yeah they used to party for 7 days!

Wondering if you had too much is a good question.
It was also a missed opportunity. A drinking game starts up and you’re in. Maybe you could handle a few extra drinks but you could have been the guy who says ‘I’m done!’ and stops. This world needs more of that example, of moderation.

I know a young lady who married a non-Catholic because she said the Catholics she met out drank the rest of them. Don’t be that guy.

This is gonna be my yardstick for measuring how much is too much from now on…

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