It’s not often that you can work your way through a book and laugh plus have some “ah hah” moments about yourself along the way. Lino Rulli, known as “The Catholic Guy” on Sirius XM, has done just that with his newest book Saint: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Away. Lino makes the case throughout the book for why he should be canonized a saint, sooner than later. To plead his case he tells stories of events in his life that he believes substantiates his claim. Each of these stories is heavily laced with humorous anecdotes. This method draws the reader into their own life events and allows them to see their own weaknesses and triumphs. In so doing he helps the reader come to the realization that no matter how unreachable the goal may seem we can all be saints. This is what we are called to do and succeed at.
I would be remiss if I did not point out the following. While Lino might seem to be approaching the topics as a comedian in actuality he has a master’s degree in theology. Some stories he relates such as his unfortunate leg injury suffered from a motorcycle chain make you feel guilty for chuckling but I soon realized that Lino was likely chuckling as he wrote it. At the end of each chapter Lino takes his story and and ends with a lesson. He ended the motorcycle story by tying his scars from the injury to the scars of sin. “I never thought I’d be writing a story that ends like this….. one in which I admit that even though God forgives me of my sins, the scars still remain. However a saint is a person who, in spite of the hurt, in spite of the scars, risks it by being open to hurt again. By God, by loved ones, by girls at bars, and by family members without motorcycle permits.”
In another chapter Lino tells us at one point in his life he had given serious though to becoming a priest. While discerning his vocation he went to a Halloween party where by the end of the evening he started lust square in the face….and beat it. “A saint isn’t a person who has never been tested; a saint is a person who has been tested and, with God’s help, has passed – or, with God’s help has gotten up the next morning and tried again.”
I particularly enjoyed the chapter “Oh Mercy, Mercy Me” in which Lino takes Matthew 25:34 -36, the basis for corporal acts of mercy, and creates a checklist from it. He proceeds to gauge himself and in turn, we can gauge ourselves, against this checklist. A checklist Lino says is a good measuring stick for possible sainthood. The items on the list include: Feed the hungry, Give drink to the thirsty, Clothe the naked, Shelter the homeless, Visit the sick, Bury the dead and Visiting the imprisoned. As Lino states “Run down the list and see if you do better than me. And hey, if you do, I’d be happy to suggest you for canonization, as well.”
This fact will likely make Lino cry (read Chapter Eight “Crybaby” and you’ll understand) but I have not read his book Sinner yet, though after reading Saint, I certainly plan too. I recommend Saint as it is a fun read and you might just learn something about yourself along the way.
I received a copy of this book for this review from the publisher Servant Books and their Marketing/PR agency Carmel Communications.