Being a Catholic isn't easy. You have the devil, you have people and you have yourself getting in the way. Lino Rulli embodies the struggle of the guy next door living a Catholic life. This book makes you laugh, makes you cry and makes you cringe as you read Lino stumbling and fumbling his way through life.
Lino has an uncanny way of making you think in between his one liners. On soul mates "I can't imagine a loving God who counts the hairs on my head, loves me, and then says: 'I’ve created a soul mate for you.. good luck finding her.'" We have to trust God in being our wingman, but we have to be willing to take chances. On failure, "lots of people put their failures in the not-God's-plan category instead of the I-suck-at-that-category." We have to take responsibility for ourselves and suck it up sometimes. On temptation, "I fought, I struggled, I won-and I didn't give into temptation. Not exactly on my way to canonization, but I'm always grateful to God when I don't fall." We should celebrate the minor victories in our lives with God. On confession, "don't imagine you will confess something original to the priest. That's the sin of pride." This one cracked me up. Yes, the priest has heard every possible sin under the sun and the stars (if you prefer sinning by night).
Lino is brutally honest with his failings at finding a mate, with his pride after winning the Emmy, with his youthful misadventures (hilarious) and with his big nose. The chapter on him meeting the Pope is absolutely hilarious. I really wish I was there through that awkward episode. Or I wish JP-II wrote a chapter about his meeting with Lino. But the chapter also made me really want to visit the Vatican someday. Not that praying at the Vatican is any better than praying at home. But maybe it is just the ambiance that makes you feel closer to God.
This book has confirmed that "In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone." (St John of the Cross). At the end of my life I want Jesus to say, as Lino writes, "Eternal life goes to Daniel. Well done my good and faith full servant." Lino makes Catholicism seem like a simple yet profound journey. I think I will see my faith in a more joyful way from here on.
You can also check out his talk show at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/catholic-guy-shows-podcast/id364049421?mt=2