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Q. I sometimes enjoy a couple of beers as I relax after a hard dayís work. Iíve noticed that when Iím drinking the beer I seem not to experience my usual struggle with anxiety. Now Iím wondering if I should stop drinking the beer because I may be ìself-medicating.î

A. I’m not recommending that anyone drink beer or any other alcoholic beverage as a way of managing his or her anxiety and scrupulosity. I think what’s important in your question is not the beverage but the relaxation that results. If you enjoy the beer, then go ahead and drink the beer. Put your feet up and relax. That’s good for everyone, and it seems it results in a particularly healthy benefit for you. A little respite from anxiety and worry is a good thing.

Q. I know you have answered this question many times before, but I really need a clarification. Is it OK to go on a cruise with my family and friends if there is a possibility that weíll miss Sunday Mass because there will be no opportunity to fulfill our obligation? I really want to go on a trip with my family, but I canít guarantee that weíll be able to attend Sunday Mass.

A. Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to go on the cruise. Most cruise lines provide an opportunity for Mass, often even daily Mass, in order to accommodate their Catholic passengers. However, even if no Mass is offered, you may still book the cruise. You aren’t required to exert superhuman effort to fulfill this obligation. Common sense and normal procedures and opportunities are essential to life, and this is an example of where this basic rule applies.

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