Tag Archives: humor

Young adult, Catholic and funny: Meet Matt Weber

August 25, 2012

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Matt Weber is a single, twenty-something guy who isn’t shy about being Catholic.

Weber frankly doesn’t seem shy about much. He bares a lot about himself in a just-out, lower-case titled paperback,  ”fearing the stigmata,” which is billed by Loyola Press as “Humorously Holy Stories of a Young Catholic’s Search for a Culturally Relevant Faith.” There’s a lot of truth in that.

In a bit of a reversal of the usual routine in which a popular book is made into a movie or a TV series, “fearing the stigmata” can be accused of being a TV show that’s been made into a book.

The TV  piece — “A Word With Weber” — is a two-minute segment that runs every week on CatholicTV.com, and two minutes is just about how long it takes to read a chapter in the book.

The contents are somewhat similar, too. Every chapter starts with an off-beat story or memory, produces at least a giggle and usually several, and ends with a connection to Weber’s faith life or spiritual journey — and maybe, just maybe — to yours and mine.

Funny and faith go together fabulously

Weber writes about his mom asking at the post office for “Madonna” stamps at Christmas time and being told that there is yet to be a stamp issued that honors the pop singer.

He writes about playing balloon-volleyball with nuns, dressing up as Zak the Yak for a reading encouragement program, about liking Cheez Balls, about appreciating Mass, about his observations after years of watching the collection basket being passed, and about stopping after work to pray before a statue of Mary at a busy intersection.

He snitches on himself about the time he received Holy Communion and then had to play the harmonica — yes, the harmonica — as he accompanied the choir for the communion hymn. It’s only slightly irreverent. Weber, of course, being a good Catholic gentleman, had the sense of preface the story about being the harmonica player at church by noting: “If you have strict notions about church music — pre-Vatican Two-era — and you just fainted, I apologize.”

Since a regular workout seems important to his generation, Weber is right on the target audience with his wish that “people could look to religion or church the same way they look to a gym.” A priest is like a person trainer, he writes, and the pews and kneelers like Nautilus equipment: “At a gym, it’s health. At a church, it’s spiritual health.  A soul is nourished with community and Christ, and we don’t even have to break a sweat.”

He sneaks in advice for older Catholics that “young adult Catholics want just a little nod, a little recognition that they are on the Catholic team, too.”

And he has some advice for his own media-obsessed generation: While he’s all for You-Tube and Facebook, some of life’s events are better savored by “soaking in the moment without the worry of technologically capturing it.” I love his introspection: “Am I experiencing life in order to write about, and is something lost in the attempt to communicate the moment?”

Telling it like he is

What readers will most appreciate is Weber’s unabashed honesty. As do many of us today — not just twenty-somethings — he struggles with, in his words, “the overall challenge of trying to be a good Catholic. . . . The real problem lies in knowing what voices to listen to.”

And a Weber take-away? ” Be a good Catholic in whatever way you can.”

The book is funny, filled with the self-deprecating kind of humor that SiriusXM’s Lino Rulli, aka “The Catholic Guy.” brings to his afternoon radio show.

After you read “fearing the stigmata,” or maybe even before, you really need to check out “A Word With Weber” on http://www.CatholicTV.com. There’s a typical segment here. See one and you’ll want to watch several. Just Google Matt Weber CatholicTV.

Check out the book on the Loyola Press site. But before you click over to one of those sites, read just one more paragraph — after this one, I mean. It’s the most clever writing in the book, and it comes as Weber begins a chapter by repeating a nugget of wisdom an Irish seatmate shared on a flight from Dublin to Boston: “Matty, me boy, let me tell you something about love. It is the itch around the heart that you just can’t scratch.” Weber follows by writing:

“Perhaps this is a common phrase in Ireland, or maybe she made it up. In my younger years, I never really thought too much about love. I knew that love was patient and kind, a type of story, all we need, in the time of cholera, cannot be bought, and the name of a shack. I had heard that C.S. Lewis identified four kinds of love. The Greeks wrote about it. And Paul, the apostle, was pretty sure it bears all things, believes all, hopes all things, and endures all things.”

I wish I’d written that.

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Catholics getting ‘consubtantial’ with new Mass language?

December 6, 2011

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There’s material for stand-up comedians in the newly translated Roman Missal, to be sure, but there’s also an opportunity for those humble enough to try to see the chalice as half full.

SiriusXM Radio’s “Catholic Guy,” Lino Rulli joked, “After taking the red eye from LA, I went home and took a nap. I felt consubstantial with my bed. Wow, the new translations are kicking in.”

Personally, I wouldn’t call myself a fan of using terms that aren’t common usage — not if one is striving for understanding — but that’s admittedly from my Bradley University journalism training to strive for clarity and comprehension for the greatest number of readers.

But I ran across Alan Hommerding’s take in his column in AIM, the magazine for music and liturgy planning, and he adds something worthwhile to Catholics’ ongoing conversations/considerations about the new language we’re hearing and saying at Mass now. Here’s an excerpt from “Talking to strangers” in the spring 2012 issue of AIM in which he writes about a talk he gave recently:

“I spoke briefly about the terms ‘consubstantial’ and ‘incarnate’ in the Creed . . . . I observed that it wasn’t at all unreasonable in the context of liturgy — meant to celebrate the mystery of Christ — for folks to learn what those words mean; beyond that, to be catechized about them, and even beyond that, to enter into a mystagogical exploration of these two foundational terms of our Christian faith.

“One attendee raised his hand and shared something from a class . . . . His instructor had been Paul Roche, a translator, classics scholar, and linguist . . . . Roche had told students, ‘For a word to be rich, it must first be strange.’

“For those of us who are followers of Christ, this kind of ‘strangeness’ must intrigue us, leading us to explore the mystery of our salvation in Christ more fully.”

Frankly, the jokes about the new translation are a great release valve allowing venting to happen, and that’s better than explosions, whatever form those might take.

But I’d really be interested in learning deeper, productive thoughts others might have or might have run across that will engage minds and hearts around the new words being prayed at Mass.

The floor is yours.

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Catholic joke book offers a lot to smile about

November 7, 2011

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A boy comes home from Catholic school and tells his mother he has a part in the class play.

She asks, “What part is it?”

The boys says, “I get to play the part of a husband.”

The mother scowls and says, “Go back and tell the teacher you want a speaking part.”

He’s got a million of ‘em, does Deacon Tom Sheridan.

And they’re not all that lame.

In “The Third Book of Catholic Jokes,” Sheridan offers a collection centered on aging and relationships, and chances are you’ll chuckle at the majority.

You may very well have heard versions of some minus the Catholic angle, but that doesn’t detract from what I think is the real service Deacon Tom is doing with all three books in this series: All these are jokes one can tell in mixed company — and even in church. You’ll find these Acta Publications paperbacks at most religious goods stores.

Here’s my personal favorite joke from book number three:

At 75, the elderly pastor was finally retired and enjoying his one passion: fishing.

He was sitting in his boat when he heard a voice cry, “Pick me up; pick me up!”

Looking around, he couldnsee anyone. He thought he was dreaming until he heard the voice again, “Pick me up.” He looked in the water and there, floating on a lily pad, was a frog.

“The priest said, “Are you talking to me?”

“Yes,” the frong repled. “Pick me up, kiss me, and I’ll turn into the most beautiful woman you’ve ever see. I’ll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I’ll be your bride.”

The pirest looked at the frog, reached over and picked it up carefully. Then he dropped the frog into his front pocket.

From the depths of the pocket the frog cried out, “Are you nuts? Didn’t you hears what I said? Kiss me and I’ll be your beautiful bride.”

The priest opened his pocket looked down at the frog and said, “Nah. At my age it’s too late. I’d rather have a talking frog.”

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Lino Rulli: Take-aways that could be out-takes

September 19, 2011

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"Sinner" is available online at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

  • “I trust in God’s plan, but I’m always afraid I’m going to screw it up.”
  • “Faith and a neurotic personality don’t always mix well.”
  • “I liked the rhythm of monastic life. I liked the structure of prayer and work. I really liked being a part of a community that prayed together, ate together, drank together. It was like a clean frat house.”
  • “Mother Teresa once said that in order to be a saint you have to seriously want to be one. So I try, feebly, to be a saint. Frankly, the sinner in me doesn’t think it sounds like much fun.”
  • “Just a quick note to priests hearing confessions: If confessions start at 5:00 p.m., any chance you could get there a few minutes early, before the line forms? . . . There’s nothing worse than standing in line, waiting for the priest to arrive, and having him show up, stare at each of the people in line, and then go in. Kind of ruins the whole anonymity thing.”
Read a review.
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Catholic Guy of Sirius Radio has book that’s funny before it even starts

September 8, 2011

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You know a book is going to be entertaining when you bust out laughing just reading the page of comments by those puffing for the author — make that allegedly puffing for the author.

The book is “Sinner” by Lino Rulli (Servant Books), and you can read more about it at this link, but get a load of what’s on the page titled “Praise for Lino Rulli”:

  • “A radio host like Howard Stern, only guilt-ridden and confession-going.” — The New York Times
  • “He’s a jerk.” — Ex-girlfriend
  • “Laugh with Lino Rulli and discover why he’s so darned popular.” — Catholic Digest
  • “He owes me fifteen bucks.” — Best friend
  • “He has Letterman’s sharp delivery and Stern’s penchant for pushing boundaries. Yet Lino is also pious.” — St. Anthony Messenger
  • “Lino fights for all sinners, but usually stays bogged down with his own caseload.” — Lino’s personal attorney.
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13 coolest, wisest, wittiest words ever uttered about prayer

August 19, 2011

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“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.” –Corrie ten Boom

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”  – Satchel Paige

“The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.” – William McGill

“Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.” – B. Graham Dienert

“The trouble with our praying is, we just do it as a means of last resort.” – Will Rogers

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” – Abraham Lincoln

“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” – Blessed Mother Teresa

“What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approve ours.” – Helga Bergold Gross

“We must move from asking God to take care of the things that are breaking our hearts, to praying about the things that are breaking His heart.” – Margaret Gibb

“God has editing rights over our prayers. He will  . . . edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted.” – Stephen Crotts

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” – Corrie ten Boom 

“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.” – George Herbert

“Lord, please keep one hand on my shoulder and one over my mouth!” – Author Unknown

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Joke — no joke — just for Catholics

August 5, 2011

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Jim and Jennifer were at their wedding rehearsal on a Friday night when a tornado struck the church, collapsing the walls and roof and tragically killing them both.

They’d led good lives and went straight to heaven, where they asked St. Peter for a favor: Could they still get married?

St. Peter said, “Well, sure. Tell you what: I’ll come and get you when we can do that.”

Jim and Jennifer were pleased, but it was five years before St. Peter showed up and said they could get married.

And so they had their wedding. It wasn’t too long though that the couple realized they’d made a mistake. The went to St. Peter and asked if they could have a divorce.

“Well, we frown upon that here,” St. Peter said, “but let me see what I can do. I’ll call you.”

After waiting five years to get married, though, Jennifer was concerned that it might take just as long to start divorce proceedings. “How long will it take?” she asked.

St. Peter was miffed. “It took five years to bet a preacher up here. Who knows how long it will be before a lawyer shows up!”

AND HERE’S THE NO-JOKE:

Joseph’s Coat, the St. Paul walk-in center for the homeless and needy, will be doing it’s annual distribution of school supplies and backpacks Aug. 29 and 31, so there’s still time for all of us to donate so some kids feel good about going to school this year because they have a new backpack and school supplies like the other kids.

I’ll be taking the backpack pictured here and picking up crayons, pens, pencils, markers, 3-ring binders, looseleaf paper — all that good stuff you use to love to have — and dropping it off at 1107 West Seventh in St. Paul.

Donations are accepted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m to 2 p.m.

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With Latin making a comeback, Catholics can have the last laugh

August 3, 2011

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As the Catholic Church strives to keep Latin alive, don’t you think Catholics should be able to laugh at these translations from the Latin?

Sharpei diem: Seize the wrinkled dog.

Veni, vidi, Pesci: I came, I saw, I moidered da bum.

Domino vobiscum: The pizza delivery guy is here.

 

ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE:

Are you planning to see the movie “Cowboys and Aliens”? Check out the review by a critic who adds a Catholic as well as cinematic point of view.

 

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Are you Catholic enough to laugh at a Catholic joke like this one?

July 31, 2011

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A guy goes into a restaurant and is greeted by the hostess, who asks: “Smoking or non-smoking?”

“Non-smoking,” he replies.

He is seated and the waiter comes over to his table to take his drink order.

“I’ll have a Coke,” he states.

The waiter says: “Diet or regular?”

“Regular.”

“Caffeine or caffeine-free?”

“With caffeine.”

The drink is brought to his table and the guy orders his food. The waiter asks what kind of dressing he’d like on his salad: “Italian, French, Thousand Island or raspberry vinaigrette?”

“Italian.”

“Regular or fat-free?”

“Regular.”

The man orders a steak with vegetables and potato.

“How do you want that prepared: rare, medium rare, medium well or well done?”

“Medium well.”

“How do you want your vegetables: raw, steamed, baked, boiled, blanched or fried?”

“Boiled.”

“And how would you like your potato: Baked, French fried or mashed?”

“Baked.”

Finally, the poor man has had enough and looks up to heaven and shouts: “I can’t take all of these choices!”

The man calls up his patron saint saying: “St. Francis, help me — help me with all these decisions!”

At that moment a voice booms from the sky: “Assisi, Xavier or DeSales?”

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Can Catholics laugh? Let’s see

July 29, 2011

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From the Ironic Catholic (Hey, Google her site!)

An old preacher was dying. He requested that his IRS agent and his lawyer come to his home. When they entered his bedroom, the preacher motioned for them to sit on each side of the bed.

Both the IRS agent and lawyer were touched that the old preacher wanted them to be with him in his final hour. They were also curious, since the preacher had never given any indication of liking either one of them. Finally, the lawyer asked, “Pastor, why did you ask us to come?”
The old preacher mastered up some strength, then said weakly, “Jesus died between two thieves, and that’s how I want to go too.”
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