CBB Interview with Lino Rulli

lino_rulliQ: What inspired you to write this book Saint, a book where you openly divulge your own shortcomings to complete strangers?

A: For me to have the nerve to call myself The Catholic Guy, or to declare I should be a canonized saint, means I better start addressing my failings (ie, sins) before anyone else does!

The funny thing about shortcomings is that we’ve all got ‘em. But it’s human nature to walk around pretending that we don’t.

So I feel like the more honest I can be to myself, to strangers, and most importantly…wait for it…honest to God, the healthier my life is. And the more honest we can be about our sins, the stronger our relationship with God. If strangers found out along the way that I’m not a perfect person, I’m ok with that.

Q: I find the book to be a humorous read but at the same time one where I’m learning and connecting with your experiences at the same time. Was that your original intent?

A: Some days my intent was to make sure I finished the book at all! And considering I missed my deadline by almost 3 months, my publisher was probably wondering what my intentions were for the book.

With that said, I’m flattered you found it humorous and were able to connect with me, as well. That’s the goal: Humor brings a person’s guard down. Walls crumble when we laugh. And that’s when we can connect with each other, on a human level and on a faith level.

My goal is to make you laugh, of course, but also to recognize we’re all just miserable sinners who – through God’s grace – are called to be saints. But me first.

Q: Since this book is about saints, who is your favorite, the one you follow the most?

A: John Paul II, because he’s a saint I can relate to. Granted, it’s not like our upbringings were exactly the same. And I kinda doubt I’ll be Pope one day. But because I grew up with him. As a kid, I’d visit my family in Rome and he was like a father-figure. Or, well, grandfather-figure. He was always there. Laughing. Praying. Smiling.

He watched TV, he had an iPod, he wore sunglasses. In other words, he was a regular guy – who just happened to be the Vicar of Christ and the most intensely inspirational person I ever met.

By the Church canonizing him, it makes heaven real to me. It says, “Hey, you know that guy you shook hands with? That guy you went to Mass with? Yeah, he’s in heaven. He’s a saint.” And that’s why I’m devoted to him: He made me proud to be Catholic, and makes holiness seem something easier to grasp.

Q: You have a popular show on Sirius XM where you are known as The Catholic Guy. For those readers unfamiliar would you like to tell us what your show involves?

A: It’s a funny Catholic radio show. I know, I know, the two seem mutually exclusive. But the truth is, I love being Catholic. I think it’s fun. Sometimes even funny. I think it’s possible to be serious about faith…but not serious in the way it’s lived out.

I don’t walk around with a sourpuss on my face. In fact, a Catholic should have just the opposite disposition. And that’s what I try to express on the air.

Radio, to me, is an entertaining format. So I better be just as entertaining as everyone else on the dial or they’ll change the channel.

Q: You have written about being a sinner in your book Sinner and now why you should be a saint in Saint. What, if anything, do you plan on writing about next?

A: Believe it or not, I don’t have plans to do anymore writing. I’m very flattered so many people have bought my books…and more importantly, haven’t returned them! So when they ask for my third book, I kind of sheepishly have to answer, “Umm…I don’t have any other great stories. Give me a few years to do some crazy things and I’ll see what I come up with.”

With that said, God continually surprises me. He certainly is a God of surprises, right? After writing Sinner, I had no plans or expectations to write Saint. So what I do next is anyone’s guess. All I can do is hope and pray to let God lead the way and be smart enough to not screw it up.

Q: Time for my signature-ending question. This is a blog about books. What is currently on your bookshelf to read?

A: I’m looking at my bookshelf now and I see lots of books I’ve been meaning to read…but haven’t gotten around to. The Bible is even sitting there, calling my name.

With lots of new books there, however, the book I’ve been wanting to read is actually something I’ve read before…The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. And it’s safer to pick him than the books written by friends and colleagues which would mean I’d name one – and unintentionally leave someone out!

Other books by this author:
Sinner: The Catholic Guy’s Funny, Feeble Attempts to Be a Faithful Catholic

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