Where should we draw the line between vice and virtue when it comes to smoking cigars?
In a recent episode of "The Catholic Gentleman," hosts Sam Guzman and John Heinen speak with master cigar maker Tomás Baldonado about the age-old tradition of cigar-making and how it dovetails with Catholic teaching.
Baldonado shares his journey—one that led him to 14 countries by 25—that finally landed him in the cigar sector.
Heinen says Tomás learned that there’s a lot of "joy and deepening of relationships that can happen over a cigar."
Drawing the parallel between the ritual and tradition of cigar-making with his Catholic faith, Baldonado shares that “there is a lot of ritual involved which has always brought me back."
His faith journey, deeply intertwined with his profession, serves as a testament to blending tradition with spirituality.
From fostering communal bonds to catalyzing deep conversations, especially among men, he says we should celebrate cigars for more than just their flavor!
The guys also navigate between the health implications of smoking and the art of cigar enjoyment.
In Catholic circles, the ethics of smoking has been a matter of debate for some time, because like Guzman says, "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.”
However, Heinen shares that "If smoking was a sin, the Church would have spoken out against it—what is sinful is excess.” Guzman chimes in with a reminder of G.K. Chesterton's wise words: “Puritanism is pouring righteous indignation into all the wrong things."
Baldonado is also clear in differentiating cigars from cigarettes.
He eloquently expresses the unique experience they offer, saying it’s “more about the experience than the cigar itself...it's a very different characteristic and different purpose for persons who consume a cigar versus a cigarette."
In a culture that readily embraces sugar, known for its adverse health effects, while frowning upon cigar smoking, the necessity for nuanced understanding becomes evident.
Listen to the episode below to spark up some profound contemplation: