Choose a topic from Part 2B:

149. Sobriety

1. Sobriety consists in the reasonable and temperate useof intoxicating drink. We call a man sober (in describing hishabitual conduct) when he either drinks no intoxicants, or drinksthem in such moderation that his faculties are never disordered bythem. The word sober, and hence the word sobriety, derivesfrom a word meaning measure, and therefore suggests thetrue meaning of the term: measure or moderation in drinking.

2. Sobriety is usually regarded as a special partof the virtue of temperance, and hence a special virtue.

3. No food or drink is, in itself, unlawful. Scripturesays (Matt. 15:11): "That which goeth into the mouth doth notdefile a man." Yet the drinking of intoxicants can be bad forseveral accidental reasons. Drinking becomes an evil: (a) when theperson who drinks is abnormally susceptible to the influence ofalcohol; (b) when a person has pledged his word not to drink; (c)when a person drinks too much; (d) when scandal (that is, badexample) is given by drinking.

4. Sobriety is a good and necessary virtue in all, and itis especially requisite for (a) the young, who readily give way toexcess in pleasures, and who develop habits quickly; (b) women,whose natural refinement is quickly debased and made disgusting byintoxication; (c) teachers and pastors and parents, and all whoinstruct others, and all whose dignity or office demands a devoutand attentive mind and the example of sober conduct.

"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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