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Author Anthony DeStefano: Making the Invisible Visible

By Randy Sly
June 19th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In addition to his writing, Anthony is a successful businessman and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Priests for Life, the largest pro-life/pro-family organization in the world. In his latest book, "The Invisible World," he covers a massive subject, the realm of the invisible - the world of angels and other heavenly creatures as well as Satan and his demons; the realm where the Holy Spirit carries out His mission.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - After three adult books and two children's books, Anthony DeStefano has gained the reputation for being a writer who can take the complex and express it in simple, clear and understandable language that inspires.

Following "A Travel Guide to Heaven" and "Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To," he now tackles the world of invisible, where angels, demons, and the Holy Spirit are at work. Through Scripture, personal anecdotes and clear explanations, "The Invisible World" reminds the reader that there is much more beyond the realm of the five senses.

Released by Doubleday in March of this year, "The Invisible World: Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities That Surround Us" has already charted at the number one best selling hardcover for the Summer 2011 according to the Association of Catholic Publishers.

In addition to his writing, DeStefano is a successful businessman and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Priests for Life, the largest pro-life/pro-family organization in the world.

His goal has always been to communicate in clear terms about complex subjects. A fan of authors like Tolstoy and Hemmingway, he had always been impressed with the way they could address profound ideas in more fundamental ways.

"It's difficult to write simply," he mentioned in a recent interview. "It is much easier to write mysteriously and obscurely. A lot times, however, it's merely a mask or camouflage for a lack of talent or just laziness, when you don't want to take the effort to make things really clear."

When writing about theology and spirituality, he immerses himself in the subject through a comprehensive reading list and then distills what he discovers into reasonable portions, finding ways to explain and describe it to the ordinary person in the pew.

"The key is to keep the truth in but at the same time make it clear,' he explained. "That's always been my goal. Whether or not I've always been successful, who knows. sometimes more than others."

In developing his down-to-earth writing style, he had great help along the way. He was a student at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, where his English teacher was Frank McCourt, the noted author of "Angela's Ashes."

"He wanted to break us out of writing elaborately, as high school students tend to do; we were learning how to write more simply. One way he did this was to make us write a children's book. It was at that time I wrote 'Little Star.'"

"Little Star" was published 30 years later and is considered by many to be destined as a Christmas classic.

In his latest book, "The Invisible World," DeStefano covers a massive subject, the realm of the invisible - the world of angels and other heavenly creatures as well as Satan and his demons. The realm where the Holy Spirit carries out His mission.

"There are plenty of books out there," he stated, "dealing with the invisible realities. A lot of books on angels, books on grace. There are also many books on demons, the devil and exorcisms as well as those on suffering and the nature of God.

"The idea I had is to take all of these invisible realities and put them into one place to impart a vision. This is the basic contribution I've tried to make in this book."

He said his one fear was that people would get the disproportionate and somewhat erroneous idea that "if I'm guided in something, it must be my angel."

"It may be your guardian angel," he states, "but it very well could be the Holy Spirit Himself. The bottom line is that it all comes from the same place; it all comes from God, it all comes from the Holy Spirit but sometimes He chooses to use creatures."

"It's impossible for anyone to really know for sure the manner in which God is helping them at any particular moment, whether it is through a creature like a guardian angel or whether it is the direct action of the Holy Spirit. These things are invisible."

I asked if he saw a need for people to be more "heavenly minded." Are
we too caught up in the seen world?

"We live in a very secular age," he said, "which actually began over two centuries ago. We have what I call the 'superstition of materialism,' where we tend to think that everything in life - our ideas, our philosophies, our religions, our accomplishments; all the notions that we have of honor, love mercy and hope; all our art and our music; all the deepest mysteries of science and faith - that all this is simply the result of random dance of molecules in our brain. This is the disease of the age."

"But we also have to remember that there are those who are just the opposite in their mindset; who believe all that we have to do is lock ourselves in a room and pray. As vitally important as prayer is, there is also a time when you must get into the battle."

"We are called to live in a balance of body and spirit since we possess both. We must remember that in eternal life there is the resurrection of the body. There will be some similarities to life, as we know it. It's all a matter of balance."

In all of his writing, DeStefano wants to impart a vision. "There are two ways of coming to know something," he said. "One is by learning and the other is by catching a vision. They are equally valid but in these books I tend to aim for imparting a vision.

"In 'Travel Guide to Heaven,' for example, I wanted people to come away with the idea, once and for all, that heaven is real. It's not going to be less real than this world. In fact, it's going to be, if anything, more real. There's much more to life than this material universe."

So, what is Anthony DeStefano's next writing destination? "I want to continue writing books for both children and adults, I want to maintain the same approach, using simple and clear language to impart a profound orthodox vision of the world. They will be somewhat apologetic but not primarily apologetic.

"I also want them to be uplifting. I want to be sure that when someone closes the page of anything I write, they are uplifted but not by a phony-baloney personal development or self-help uplift. It needs to have real substance and hope. I want to portray the joyous aspects of Christianity while taking care never to compromise orthodox theology.

Anthony DeStefano has written three books for adults, "A Travel Guide to Heaven,"
"Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To," and his latest, "The Invisible World."

He has also written two children's books, "This Little Prayer of Mine," and "Little Star."

For more information and to order books, you can visit his website at http://www.anthonydestefano.com/.

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Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

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