The Warm Glow of December Drinking: 10 Quotes From Michael Foley

As the holiday season began, Dr. Michael Foley, Professor of Patristics at Baylor University and author of Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour, told students at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, “How to Drink Like a Saint.” The Nov. 18 talk was sponsored by the Center for Beauty and Culture together with Guadalupe Hall. Dr. Foley spelled out a Catholic, biblical approach to alcohol, naming five ways to drink to the glory of God. Liturgically themed mocktails for all, and cocktails for those 21 and over were offered at the event.

1: Drunkenness vs. Drinking

One of the things that some of our Protestant brethren don’t understand is that there is a crucial difference between drunkenness and drinking. The same St. Paul who condemns drunkenness is the same St. Paul who orders his disciple Timothy to drink wine when he has a stomach ailment.”

2: ‘Baptizing’ Beer

Beer may have been invented by the ancient Babylonians, but it was perfected by the medieval monasteries that gave us modern brewing as we know it. To this day, the world’s finest beer is made within the cloister.”

3: Loosen the Tongue

To me drinking is not about the pleasure of drinking per se but about friendship and camaraderie, and good friendships thrive on good conversation. Moderate drinking loosens the tongue just enough to speak a little more freely but without disconnecting it from one’s rational mind.”

4: Grateful Drinking

As Chesterton puts it: ‘We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.’

5: Raise a Glass to Love

At a good wedding, multiple generations gather to celebrate the triumphant and honorable nuptials of a faithful man and a faithful woman; they gather to celebrate the love of this new couple … and when they do so, they also remember the love in their own marriages, the love in their parents’ marriages, and on and on. They remember a great chain of love, and they raise their glasses to it.”

6: Merriment vs. ‘Fun’

The phrase is ‘The more the merrier.’ Merriment presupposes community and a truly divine and memorable reason to celebrate: think of how absurd it would be to say “Merry Administrative Professionals’ Day.” But “Merry Christmas” still has theological meaning, and not just because Christ’s Mass is mentioned.”

7: Intergenerational Celebrations

“One of the reasons, in my opinion, that we don’t have as much merriment in our society today is that we don’t have as many intergenerational celebrations. … let’s be honest: a group of people that are all the same age is not a community but a clique.”

8: Mature Mentors

“I completely understand the reasons behind raising the drinking age to 21, but one of the effects of this law is to make it harder for older people to teach younger people the art of drinking. Without the mentorship of the mature, you get the youth learning to drink from other youth … the blind leading the blind.”

9: Men and Women

“My students, living in the wake of the Sexual Revolution, have inherited a scorched earth of very few shared parameters about how to interact with the opposite sex both romantically and virtuously.  Rather than feel liberated, they tell me, they feel overcome with anxiety and uncertainty.”

10: Future of Drink

“With the current age upon us, it seems to me that the question is not whether Catholics should enjoy a drink festively; the question is whether we will be the only ones left capable of doing so.”

Editorial Staff

Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. We create video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while Ex Corde Media Fellows program provides students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde Media Fellows program.