Posted on May 11, 2012 by

I read Sinner, by Lino Rulli, in one sitting; only taking breaks to get snacks, use the toilet, and pop ibuprofen to cure the headache I’d developed from laughing so hard.

It was definitely not comparable to the heavy theological fare I usually torture myself with, but it was such a great break from that dreary stuff that you won’t catch me complaining. As a longtime listener to his show on the Catholic Channel, I expected the constant stream of dry, often self-deprecating humor and mundane confessions, and I was not disappointed. Even religious nerds like myself need to change it up sometimes, or we get all depressed reading about people who are so much holier than we are.

It can be a bit like running a race, nearly collapsing with exhaustion, and then finding out halfway that you still have 8437 miles to go. Sometimes I finish reading about how a saint was fed to lions and entered the arena smiling, while I’m still a bit embarrassed saying grace in restaurants, and I just want to sit down and cry in frustration. It can get discouraging, and sharing the stories of our trials and triumphs with others, as Lino has done in this book and as we try to do here on this blog, gives us a second wind.

Of course, this book isn’t for everyone. Don’t read this if:

  1. You have no sense of humor.
  2. You’re a racist.
  3. You think Catholics are all going to Hell.
  4. You’re a rabid teetotaler or are otherwise overly scrupulous.
  5. You’re a snob.
  6. You can’t believe people read trash like this when they could be studying the scriptures.
  7. You’re perfect and know it (see 1-6).

Otherwise, it’s a good read and I highly recommend it. Thai prostitutes, organ grinders, sacramental instructions, dry-heaving athletes, cool bishops, topless beaches, beanbag confessionals, Cuban cigars, mai tais, co-ed sleepovers, celibate rejections, and meeting the Pope, all rolled into one. How could that ever go wrong?

He may be a mere sinner like me, but he certainly didn’t miss the mark on this one.

Posted in: Book Review