It’s a daunting task for most, but Lino Rulli is up to the challenge. In fact, the St. Paul native and host of Sirius/XM Radio’s “The Catholic Guy” show would like to get there a little faster than others.
In his new book “Saint,” he makes the tongue-in-cheek case for why the Church should canonize him today. (After all, he says, why trust your friends to push your sainthood cause after you die when you can do it yourself?)
In all seriousness, however, the book has a deeper purpose: to encourage you to focus on your spiritual growth and help you “to realize that you might not be as big a sinner as you think, and that, with God’s help, you might just become a saint.”
“Saint” is a follow-up to “Sinner,” Rulli’s first book of short, humorous and inspiring stories encouraging us to live out our faith despite our imperfections. In “Saint,” Rulli turns once again to short stories about his life — some funny, some painfully honest, and many with a short nugget of reflection about lessons learned along the way.
At the end of one story about resisting what can be described as a “temptation of the flesh,” Lino writes: “A saint isn’t someone 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.”
Saints you can relate to
During a recent visit to St. Paul, Rulli talked about why he wrote a book to remind people about the call to sainthood.
“I guess the reason people like [‘Sinner’] is because a lot of them could relate to it. But, the other side of that coin is the fact that we do need to be reminded that we’re not just a bunch of miserable losers because we fail,” he told The Catholic Spirit Sept. 27.
“For whatever reason,” he said, “God loves us and we’re still called to holiness. It’s sort of a contradiction in our lives, but it’s the reality of our lives.”
In fact, Rulli said he draws inspiration not only from famous saints, but also everyday Catholics he encounters on his own journey of faith.
“I get inspired by the average person in church,” he said. “When I see the mom and dad in church Sunday morning with kids running around like maniacs and you’re going to lose your mind, it inspires me. They don’t have it all together, but they know it would be ten times worse if they didn’t try to go to church. . . . Those are the saints who inspire me: the guy who says I went out Saturday night but I’m still waking up and going to church Sunday morning. Or the single mom. Or even the older people who have their own problems and struggles. I really do look around and I go: We’re all called to be saints, but we’re all saints in the making.”
Chances are future generations won’t be reading about St. Lino in the Church’s official catalog of saints. But he — and the rest of us — should always be striving to be counted eventually among those in heaven.
“Saints” ends with this poignant reflection: “Sometimes you chase me, Lord. Sometimes I chase you. But the only time I’ll quit running, the only time I will finally feel at peace, will be when I’m at home with you: there in heaven. That’s when I’ll truly be called a saint.”
Read more about Lino and his new book on his website at linorulli.com. You can also order the book from http://catalog.franciscanmedia.org.
Category: Faith and Culture