What would happen if we took our life questions to the saints rather than Dear Abby? This affectionate parody asks the foolish questions we all want to ask and provides a few pointed, startling, and funny answers from various saints (or near saints) in the Catholic tradition.
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Jul 23, 2012
This book was flippin’ hilarious. I caught wind of it a few weeks ago after discovering the Ironic Catholic (a.k.a. Susan Windley-Daoust) and her blog. This piece of work is exactly that, a piece of work. It takes common (and not so common) questions from the Church Militant and taps the shoulder of the Church Triumphant to field them. For every question, one or two canonized Saints responds with a soft shell taco filled with the guacamole of humor, the lettuce of common sense and the meat of undeniable truth. The result is a delicious literary snack for Orthodox Catholics to munch on at any moment of the day. In one of the questions, the Ironic Catholic herself questions why mothers are unable to bilocate. She argues that such a grace would be very helpful for a mother whose son is dipping his hand in the cookie jar while she bathes her youngest. She interrogates the Communion of Saints as to why this particular grace has only been given to consecrated religious nuns and priests up... More > until this point. The responder is none other than famed bilocator, St. Padre Pio. He tells her in short discourse that she knows not what she asks, that it is greater to seek Christ first and allow the graces to flow from that love, not the other way around. To keep the mood light, he finishes saying that the mother should put brussel sprouts in the cookie jar. Problem solved. This book is a quick read for Orthodox Catholics looking for a lighthearted giggle as well as “casual” Catholics who are looking to awkwardly laugh with everyone else around them even though they don’t quite get the jokes. In either case, I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions as I read it, mainly because the Communion of Saints were laughing right along with me. If you like this book, you might want to try Saint Watching by Phyllis McGinley.< Less
This little book is clearly a labor of love by an author intellectually intimate with the saints, phrophets, and Catholic writers she parodies. Both the questions and answers are delightfully tongue-in-cheek and laced with an entertaining dry humor. She is "right on" with responses to such questions as, "Why are teeth so poorly made?" asked by a root-canal sufferer, which is answered by the prophet Job. The question about getting married in a major league baseball staduim, answered by St. Rita, had me chuckling out loud. Other "authorities" include St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, and even Flannery O'Connor. The author includes a list of recommended reading for those whose curiosity is piqued by the saintly respondents. This is a pithy little read that I doubt can disappoint, whether one is well-versed in knowledge of the Church, or has just a passing acquaintance.
Is it a sin to substitute carob for chocolate during your Lenten fast? Well, it turns out that it depends who you ask. Sometimes we all need a bit of advice to make the tough calls in life or need a second opinion on matters tangentially related to faith and morals... and whether Hell is consumed with a dry heat or humid heat. What began as a series of blog posts from the Ironic Catholic is now an E-book, available through both Lulu.com and Smashwords.com. The book, though relatively short in length at 24 pages, Dear Communion is packed with sage advice, wicked humor and razor sharp insight into the scruples of the more-or-less faithful. Dear Communion of Saints is humorous and a dead ringer for the various saints "contributing" to this collection of "Dear Abby-esque" litany of questions. Each letter has the feel of authenticity with a very human touch where you learn that some saints do not suffer fools lightly while others are more willing to play along. In the... More > end, all the saints point to the greater lesson that should be learned from questions such as "Why did God create Jellyfish" and my favorite, "I'm Having Problems Cooking This Thanksgiving Day Turkey. Help" answered thoughtfully by Flannery O'Conner (Though not a saint in the canonical sense, being from Atlanta, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, we southern Catholics have to stick together). I enjoyed this book quite a bit, being able to pick it up in my spare moments, read a couple of the letters and replies and then when duty called, be it a diaper changing or having to tend to some injury among my son's stuffed animal buddies, put it down without losing the flow. I definitely recommend this book for anyone with a lightly wry twist to their humor. If you have a dog-eared copy of Saints Behaving Badly on your bookshelf, this is for you.< Less
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