alcohol

Please move if i posted in wrong thread. Thanks
Hi , I am about to convert and i realize that the catholic church says that alcohol is made for our pleasure to be used in moderation and to make the heart merry is that correct. I am converting from a baptist specifically southern baptist background that thinks alcohol is the root of all evil :eek: . anyway my future in laws who are catholic have no problem with it. the point i am trying to make is my baptist mother who had alcoholic parents is thinking that if i even try alcohol i will become an alcoholic i don’t think so. so i suggested a compromise that when the catholic side of family is drinking i will have a non alcoholic beer. Busch makes a non alcohlic brew. I guess what i am asking is . What should i do .
Thanks .

You can drink if you want, or continue to abstain. My DH and I do not drink.

Drinking in moderation is fine, becoming purposefully drunk is a sin. :slight_smile:

If you don’t drink now there is no reason to start drinking - even socially - just because you converted.

If you have alcoholic grandparents, that is more of a reason to continue to abstain, than any rules or thoughts of the Baptist church.

You do need to understand that drinking itself is not sinful. So your Catholic inlaws having wine with dinner or a beer in the afternoon are not sinning.

Drinking for the purpose of becoming drunk is sinful, as is many of the behaviors that people who are drunk engage in. Someone who has already become addicted to alcohol may have the culpability for their sin lessened through habit, but that is no reason to not try and sober up.

Don’t stress about it! You don’t HAVE to drink just because you are becoming a Catholic! :hypno:

:slight_smile:

I don’t think i was clear i understand i don’t Have to drink i was saying if i want to , i am saying even if my mother doesn’t want me to when i turn 21 in a month by the way , is it against the 4th comandment to have a non alcoholic beer. Im not in it for looking cool or for the alcohol just want to try a beer. sorry for not being clear.

Honoring your father and mother does not equate to always doing what they want you to do.

If you are an adult of legal age and you choose to try a beer, then do so. I wouldn’t flaunt it to your mother since she obviously has an issue with it, but beyond that there is no reason not to.

I personally don’t enjoy most beers, and wouldn’t drink a non-alcoholic one just for the experience, but again, that’s just my opinion. :slight_smile:

If you are of legal age (which it appears you will be in a month or so) it is not a problem for you to drink, in moderation, if you should want to.

I come from a Baptist family, Southern, in fact. My family is strongly against drinking. I drink occasionally. Of course, I did it before I was Catholic too, I just enjoy a glass of wine every now and then.

Honoring your parents is not the same as obeying everything that they say after you become an adult. I wouldn’t get drunk around them or try and get them to drink, or mock how they feel about alcohol - that would be disrespectful. I wouldn’t speak badly about how they feel about alcohol, that wouldn’t be honoring them. But if you want to responsibly have an alcoholic beverage every now and then, that is fine.

Any opinions please are welcome.Do you think if my husband and I usually on a Sunday evening enjoy playing music and having a few drinks /we usually end up falling asleep on the couch and then head to bed he is 71 I am 67 would this be mortal or venial any body know

A priest told me once that alcohol in moderation is fine, even if you get a slight buzz. The sin comes in to play when you drink so much that you stop using your judgement and fall into a behavior that is more subhuman where morality has the potential to be thrown out the window. Plus he added that it could also be considered gluttony.

You’re an adult and you can do whatever you want to do. Your mom is over reacting and probably thinks you’ll turn into a lush if you consume the Precious Blood after you convert :eek:

Edit: PS, welcome Home to the Church!

I was told by my priest, never drink more then you can legally drive with. He said that was a fairly good estimate of how much is O.K to drink.

I think God wants us to have self control.
If we drink to much we tend to loose our self controll and bad things can happen.
Have a beer friend. Cheers and welcome home.

Having a couple drinks to relax, especially if your not a lightweight is fine.
Where we get into trouble is when we allow something to strongly influence us OTHER then the Holy Spirit.

If your within these moderate guidelines, your just fine. Have fun with your husband!!!

Heya -

Remember that Jesus turned water into wine as his first public miracle. If alchohol was inherently sinful, Jesus wouldn’t have used His power to enable sin. :slight_smile:

One consideration, though - if your mom is correct about having alchoholism in your family, you will want to use caution and really watch your reactions and your tendencies while drinking different types of alchohol. If at any point you feel like you may be developing a problem, go sober for a while.

I have alchoholism in my family, but I do enjoy drinking for all sorts of reasons. I enjoy sampling craft beer and good wine, and I also enjoy getting drunk periodically, but not to the point where I lose control of my conduct or can’t take care of my kids. I won’t lie - there have been times where I’ve been particularly stressed at work and I say to myself, “You know, I haven’t been sober a single evening in 3 weeks. That’s no good - time to go sober for a while.” I think that’s the key - just catch yourself and stay in control.

Honestly, that doesn’t sound like a sin at all.

Depends what you mean I guess but really I wouldn’t worry, that does not sound sinful.

First, welcome home to the Church, Taylor.

To help your mother out, I’d separate your entering the Church with having a drink. Even if you delay it by like a year or more. No one is going to think less of you for not drinking, at least not at your age. The days of “you’re a fill-in-the-blank for not drinking” ended at 16, at least for me. You’re not missing much, man. I’m sure she has some issues with your entering the Catholic Church to begin with, so make it easier for her.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation.

Never understood that mentality though I see it as well. I think prurient interest in sex is a far more difficult and pervasive struggle. You can only get so drunk, but you can develop a sexual appetite that knows no satisfaction, and that will truly ruin a man or woman inside and out.

This is actually a good point and I’m glad you ask. I’d think it’d go against the 4th commandment to do something that you know will offend your mother if you don’t have a good reason to do it. Yes, it’s legal, you’re not causing any trouble, but your mom is seriously freaked out by the thought of you drinking. Give her some time. Have that drink on your 21st - something nice (dude, a Missouri Claret with a rare porterhouse will put you fairly close to ecstasy - but if you want a beer, have an ale on lees like Tres Pistois or Dragon’s Milk) and leave it for a while. Like I said, you’re not missing much. Nor are you accountable to her for all things you do unless you live in her house, in which case you’re still under her care.

Agreed, it’s a type of gluttony if it’s in excess. Taylor, a way that may help your mother is to look at it by Rom 14:21 - whatever makes someone you’d have influence on (a little brother, perhaps) fall into sin is something you should avoid, at least around him. I had bible study with a friend like that. He saw me drinking once (I was 23 at the time, out at a bar, with my Dad) and he ran screaming to the group leader. He just couldn’t grok it - so I scandalized him inadvertently (he was the last person I’d expect to be at a bar, I think he got lost).

I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a German Catholic family that sees alcohol as a social drink. Too much is always frowned upon (though tolerated from time to time), but to have a weekend dinner without a wine or beer was unheard of, and nightcaps (finger of Drambuie, scotch or, in my case, tequila) are common. And drink is always social. From the time I was 17, my Dad would ask if I wanted a drink, and if I said no, he woudln’t have one - and if I said yes, he’d cut me off before I’d ask for another. That’s how I learned what relaxed, buzz, tipsy and drunk feel like, and how to stop.

I wouldn’t think it sin. It sounds like a lovely way to wind down a Day of Rest. My wife and I, in our thirties with two small children, often fall asleep on the couch WITHOUT drinking. Sometimes I doze off at the dinner table. Where I end up in sin is if I have that third beer and play Mount & Blade all night.

Pretty sure that wasn’t grape juice…

Really good point. If you drink often you can develop some traits of alcoholism like threshhold (the point at which you’ve had N drinks and you’ll keep drinking til you’re drunk - for me, it’s four), blackouts (don’t remember things - only happened once but I apparantly got into a fight and had some head trauma so…), memory loss, and even withdrawal. I second AthenaC - take time off of drinking.

Disease tells you your body needs a rest - this sounds like a symptom. My escape valve is video games (now, anyway), which is tempered by our children waking up twice a night.

One of the problems with growing up in a completely alcohol-free environment, is that young people who get away from that environment will sometimes completely lose control when they do start drinking. They start out with the intention of drinking lightly or moderately, but because they have no experience in the effects of alcohol, have too many drinks too quickly and get very drunk the first time they drink. If you want to try a beer, do me a favor and have one along with a meal, like with a burger or other meat-based meal. Then, you can taste the beer without having too much effect on you. Start with just one at a time. If you find that you immediately want to order more than one, see that as a yellow flag of caution. If you try wine, same thing, have one glass along with a meal, and don’t glug it down, but sip it. Mixed drinks are another ball game completely. The alcohol is disguised with mixers, so it’s very easy to get drunk. Warning: Long Island Iced Tea isn’t tea! :eek:

Proceed with caution, because you have never had exposure, and because there is alcoholism in your family. But no, in answer to your question, having a beer does not dishonor your mother in any way. At least, not according to the Catholic Church.

Welcome Home, by the way!

:thumbsup:

One thing that a married man must remember is that he reports to his wife (works to keep the peace with her) and not his mom. Moms always worry about their boys. When the boys move out they need to stop telling them their concerns and start praying.

why would you think this is sinful at all?

Moderate consumption of alcohol is allowed for Catholics, but as has been pointed out repeatedly here, it isn’t required. You can try non-alcoholic beer if you like, but that rarely has the flavor of the real thing. It only gives you a very rough idea of the world of beer, and the world of beer is only a corner of the world of alcoholic beverages.

If you try, try a small amount at first, not of something that is non-alcoholic, but of something that does not have a very high alcohol content. Alcohol produces a “hot” sensation in your mouth, and most people don’t find they do well starting with undiluted whiskey, for instance! :smiley:

Really, though, the key is to remain a moderate drinker. If you choose to try alcohol–and again, you don’t have to, if you don’t like it or don’t want to–drink it with some food in your stomach, limit the amount to below that which will give you a pronounced “buzz”–I drink regularly and don’t drink enough to get any buzz at all.

Do not ever drink as a medicine for difficult feelings or an uncomfortable situation.

Do not hang out with people who press drinks on you, who imply that alcohol is required to have fun, or who look down on non-drinkers.

Do not drink when you are dehydrated, and make sure you consume plenty of water when you are drinking. Alcoholic beverages take a certain amount of water to metabolize, and dehydration is part of what makes a “hangover”.

Do not drink when you hear yourself saying, “I need a drink”. Do not drink when you are depressed–your friends who are with you to help you cheer up can drink if you don’t have any addiction issues, but you ought to stick with the company of caring people or nature or pets or something that is not a depressant as your consolation when you are down.

Don’t drink around your mom. It’s just the Golden Rule. Keep your ability to be able to give up alcohol whenever charity or your own well-being require it by giving up alcohol for Advent and Lent. (Many people make the celebration of birthdays an exception, provided it isn’t an overly-extended celebration, because people born in Lent can’t help that!)

So when do you drink? If you develop a taste for alcoholic beverages, then drink when you are enjoying some food or some experience that the drink would complement. That is the function of alcoholic beverages: to bring out the enjoyment of a good situation, not to turn a bad one into a good one.

If you find you like alcoholic drinks, have someone steer you towards foods that complement the beverage of your choice. Then expand your horizons so that you try drinks that are typically thought to complement your favorite foods: perhaps beer with hearty and salty foods, red wine with red meat, white wine with poultry and seafood, and particular varieties with particular food combinations. This is something that is quite enjoyable if someone knowledgeable teaches you. The first time I had a meal in which the chef pairs the food and the wine, it was an absolute revelation. Each complemented the other so much, it all went to another plane. It’s very much what like the vanilla extract does for cookies. Vanilla extract, as it turns out, is 40% alcohol. Lots of really yummy side-products are produced during natural fermentation, if the beverage-maker knows his or her craft. You can enjoy those from the first sip, without inebriation ever coming into it.

Especially when you start out, do not drive after you have had any amount to drink, and do have someone keep watch over you who will honor your resolve to enjoy your alcohol truly in moderation.

Just to clarify: There is not some allowed amount of drunkenness. Catholics may not licitly use alcohol for the purpose of intoxication. If you find you accidentally get yourself drunk once, then back off. If you find that your goal is to get drunk, talk to somebody about that. As I pointed out in the last post, long-term moderate drinkers do not use alcohol as a medication against stress, anxiety, or upset feelings, and especially not depression!

My parents had one or two drinks of alcohol most days outside of Advent and Lent for over 60 years. To my knowledge, neither one of them ever got drunk, not in all those decades of daily alcohol use. That is what moderate drinking looks like.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.