Lino Rulli who hosts “The Catholic Guy” on Sirius Radio has written a autobiography named “Sinner: The Catholic Guy’s Funny, Feeble Attempts to Be a Faithful Catholic
.” I first became aware of Lino back in 2006 when he invited me on his show. I soon came to appreciate his quick wit and banter. While I don’t have Sirius radio I listen to the podcast highlights of his show and follow him on Twitter. I also remember being rather impressed with the talk he gave at last years Catholic New Media Convention.
So I was prepared for a funny autobiography with spiritual themes, but I was not prepared for how both funny and serious this book was. At first I thought that he was pulling my leg a bit as he described his childhood and his father coming out of a church with a vocation to be an organ grinder. After I realized he wasn’t kidding and wrote a delightful picture of his father it only brought up to me the “life is stranger than fiction” quote. That Lino had to substitute for the monkey they couldn’t afford surprised me less for some reason.
I think I was grinning widely while I read most of this book and loved the fact it had two things I so much love – humor and the faith. He tells some great stories including on involving a confessional where both the priest and the penitent used beanbag chairs. That is not his only confessional story and tells some other throughout the book.
This is also a very frank book in that Lino does not dress himself up as the best Catholic in the world as you might guess from the title of his autobiography. He discusses his temptations and difficulties forthrightly, but humorously. The fact that he is single at 39 is also a theme in his book and while he draws humor out of this he also shows a more serious side. The spiritual component of the book is threaded among the humor, yet it shows a good look into the spiritual life of avoiding temptation, occasionally falling, and thankfulness to God in any success over temptation. There was much in what he wrote I could relate to and I think it would be the same for many others.
Some critique Lino Rulli for him being a “Catholic Howard Stern”, though I don’t think this is a very accurate assessment. While Lino likes and listens to Stern’s show it is not with a rose-colored admiration – it has caveats. But he does credit Stern for helping him to make his own show more honest with him not pretending he is something he is not, while at the same time taking the spiritual life seriously.
As for myself I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it successfully presents the faith as something serious and his own life living the faith as something that could be both laughed at and related to.