Catholics sometimes have a bad reputation about drinking.
Austin is a fun-loving city that enjoys listening to live music and drinking delicious local beers and liquors. In the professional world, drinking cocktails is often a part of doing business and working as a team. In the church world, several ministries for Catholics in their 20s and 30s host events around alcoholic drinks for a casual atmosphere.
Last year, I wrote a post with a proposal to drink like a Catholic, and I have some notes to add for those nights out on the town.
In the first post, I explained how Christians are allowed to drink, but some might still consider going to a bar different and unacceptable. There’s no problem if you want to avoid bars, but for the rest of us, let’s explore some points on how to drink like a Catholic at a bar.
Going to the Bar
- Check your intentions
Your intentions and disposition will direct your evening and will ultimately be your actions to own. Alcohol truly is a social lubricant that enhances what was already there. Drinks can’t do magic tricks, but they can still lead to trouble if there was bad intentions to start.
- Be smart about where you go
The venue you choose to visit has direct consequences on the quality of time spent there. An establishment’s reputation is usually a good indication of why others are going there.
If the bar is themed in a way to promotes sinfulness, there’s a lustful theme night, or in any way disrespects people, then it’s scandalous to attend, no question.
There is no person or location outside of God’s jurisdiction, Christ will be with you always.
Drinking at the Bar
- Have fun with friends
Spending time with others is a gift of self and blessing to you. Focus on your friends present with you and enjoy the little blessings in life. Friends can also help remind you to cling to virtue instead of vice.
- Be responsible for yourself
Whether it’s drinking too much, gossiping, being consumed in anger or lust, or any other sin, we can’t blame anyone else for our sin or mistakes. Not even the devil can make you do it, only you choose the sin or not.
If you know there are going to be issues, then do what you need to do for your soul, even if that means turning down the drink or even staying home that night.
- Share your gifts
Drinks often make people feel more open and willing to discuss the mysteries of life. Without making it a confession or counseling session, people can often drop their defenses enough to take in the messages of the hope of Christ. Proselytizing isn’t necessary, but we are called to bring Jesus with us wherever we go. Sometimes people just need you to be Christ to them.
- Don’t waste your time judging others
There can be a temptation to judge others because of their sins, but we know that it’s not our job. We are all broken and in need of Jesus. When others feel already condemned, it’s easier to built distance instead of relationship. At the same time, help friends to recognize if they need to avoid being hurt.
Street preaching is ineffective because this generation needs living examples and people to journey with them. Bars could be a very effective place for relational ministry, and I think that’s part of this church opened a bar in France.
Leaving the Bar
- Drink Responsibly
Even if you don’t feel that you drank to the point of being wasted, it’s important to remember that there is an alcohol tolerance level needed to drive safely and legally. Risking others’ safety is not only illegal, it’s uncharitable and sinful.
- Help others around you
In case a friend can’t tell that it’s not safe for them to drive or just had too much, it’s your responsibility to help. Sometimes getting someone a drink of water can go a long way, other times, they just need an Uber called or ride home.
If it is prudent for you, enjoy a good drink among friends and be merry, but never forget that our faith doesn’t get left at the door.
“Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
– St. John XXIII