Search Results : rulli » The Curt Jester

Sep 302013

Two years ago I reviewed Sinner by Lino Rulli which was a very funny and at times serious book and piecemeal autobiography. Lino Rulli who hosts “The Catholic Guy” on Sirius Radio has now written a follow-up book Saint: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Away. This is a very tongue-firmly-in-cheek framework where Lino explains how his life so far qualifies him to be canonized a saint. This is another piecemeal autobiography where he explores parts of his life topically not sequentially.

Along the way behind all the humor there are serious points to be made about living your life as a Catholic. Again what is appealing about his books is the total lack of pretention and the honest look at himself faults and all. Although this is beyond defensive self-deprecating humor and is more along of the lines of simple honesty. The first book contained many funny stories from his life that seemed like almost a running gag punctuated with hard-to-believe facts like that his father left his job to become an organ-grinder. There is even more along that theme in this book involving the circus.

The canonize-me-now framework of the book mostly works as a humor device since you always know it is a device and not pride. So there is some nice comedy regarding this aspect. I especially enjoyed this since I have explored some of the same humor in some of my own posts Saintly Planning and n Planning to be a Doctor of the Church.

One annoying aspect of the book is that I found way to much that I could relate to. I had plenty to commiserate with Lino on. I would rather laugh at Lino struggles, than my own. Still I think many will find points of contact with what he writes. I’ve personally found laughing at my own faults to be a help in both acknowledging them and repenting of them. So I found lots of points of contact, but his later chapter regarding his struggles with his large nose hit too close to home. Although mine is not Italian and more along the lines of W.C. Fields (no surprise I once did him as a character in a show).

I had fun reading this book and it is a nice companion to his first book. Certainly not for everybody, especially those who are sensitive regarding the use of humor alongside of discussions of the faith. I suspect those that read my blog don’t have that problem. Still I occasionally get emails complaining about the mixture of the two.

Sep 012011

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.

Aug 102010

Last weekend the 3rd Catholic New Media Celebration was held in Boston Archdiocese Pastoral Center to a sold out audience. I was unable to go this year but was able to watch much of the CNMC live via USTREAM or watch the bits I missed on video afterwards. It has been quite interesting to watch the CNMC grow from its conception to three successful years bringing together Catholics to learn how to use the new media in evangelization and as an opportunity to get together. There were so many people attending that I would love to be able to meet and talk to myself that it was bittersweet watching from afar.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has a good post up on their site with plenty of links in regards to the CNMC and to other sites containing links. Links to video’s of individual events are also included.

While they had plenty of excellent speakers I would pick out Thomas Peters of American Papist in this regard. I found the content of his speech very good with lots of food for thought even for long term bloggers. [Video] The blogging panel had an representative range of bloggers and I thought it was informative and fun. [Video]

The Keynote speech was by Lino Rulli host of “The Catholic Guy Show” on the The Catholic Channel and he really gave an amazing speech that had lots to say about Catholic Media. Lino is very funny as he described his career in both secular and Catholic media, but while being funny he was also making some very serious points about Catholic Media and the truth that far too often Catholic Media has not been very professional and often just does not compete when it comes to reaching out to an audience. Often Catholic Media is just sub par professionally. G. K. Chesterton’s “if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” is often applied incorrectly by Catholics since Chesterton said this in defense of hobbies. I started my blog with this quote, though my blog is a hobby. The reality is that Catholics using media to evangelize must see that excellence is extremely important or else you end up with a ghetto mentality of only reaching out towards those already converted. Look at the state of so much filmmaking by Christians where excellence in filmmaking out seems to fall by the wayside. Filming, writing, talking about the truth should not be undermined by a lack of artistic merit. The best Catholic Media is great because it is professional, not just because it is Catholic media.

Another thing Lino talked about was people’s reactions to him and the number of negative comments he gets from The Catholic Guy show which they consider too irrelevant and not pious enough. I listen to his show via the podcast highlights of his show and I enjoy it very much. Though like with all humor it isn’t for everybody. I have a feeling though Lino gets comments from the same people who complain about the picture of nuns with rifles in my header. Some just think that the intersection of the faith and humor should be an overpass instead where they never meet.

You can watch his Keynote here.

May 302007

The Pope continues his catecheses on leading figures of the early Church, turning his attention to Tertullian. He starts off by praising some of the many theological accomplishments of Terullian and then later turns to his later life and break with the Church.

"I often think of this great moral and intellectual figure, this man who made such a great contribution to Christian thought. It is clear that in the end he lacked the simplicity and humility to be part of the Church, to accept her weaknesses. When one sees only one’s own ideas, in all their greatness, in the end it is precisely this greatness that is lost. The essential characteristic of great theologians is the humility to remain with the Church, to accept her weaknesses and their own, because only God is truly holy. We, on the other hand, always have need of forgiveness."

A reminder to all of us.

Aug 302004

A couple of interesting things have happened to me recently. Some months ago I was contacted by one of the editors of This Rock magazine and he requested that I write my conversion story for their Damascus Road section. I wrote and submitted it to them and it will appear in October’s issue of This Rock magazine. Since Catholic Answers and especially Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin had much to do with helping me into the Church it is pretty cool to appear in one of my favorite Catholic apologetics magazine. Karl Keating’s book Catholicism and Fundamentalism was an important book to me early in my conversion. It helped to direct me from a Bible only view to seeing scripture with Tradition as interpreted by the Magisterium. Jimmy Akin on Catholic Answers Live showed me the coherence of the Catholic faith and helped me past my previous science versus faith mind set.

I just got of the phone from doing a radio segment with Lino Rulli. He is going to have a radio show called "Lino at Large" on Relevant Radio starting in September. I will know later what day the segment I did will be on. We talked about my conversion and I am afraid I rambled on a bit and before I knew it the ten minute segment was over. Lino seems like a pretty funny guy himself as you can see in the bio on his web site. I hope I didn’t come off too badly, but I guess as Mother Teresa told Father Groeschel – Humiliation can be a path to humility.

I know God has a real good sense of humor. To draw me out of my atheism and into his Church and to be talking about the joy of being Catholic on national radio was just another surprise that has come into my life.