Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Invisible World

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal. 
~2 Corinthians 4:18
 Many people have the experience of a certain book coming along at just the right time. The Invisible World by Anthony DeStefano was such a book for me. In bringing me back to the basic truths about God and the supernatural it freshened my perspective about earthly events, helping me to once more view the trials and tragedies of life in a supernatural light. Sometimes going back to the beginning and contemplating on a deeper level the simple truths of faith which we were taught in childhood can be the most worthwhile spiritual exercise. God is pure spirit, Who created us and Who loves us, yet He permits us to have free will because He does not want mindless automatons. Reflecting upon the greatness and power of God, knowing that such a great God sustains our very beings, can be overwhelming as well as humbling.

Written in a conversational tone, Mr. DeStefano discusses the most profound topics with clarity and insight. The simplicity of the approach reminded me a great deal of C.S. Lewis apologetic works, and yet The Invisible World is unabashedly Catholic, with much taken from the Scriptures and the wisdom of the saints. While it is a book I would feel comfortable handing to an atheist because of the logical explanations used, there is a great deal of depth to plumb so that lifelong practicing Catholics will surely find plenty of inspiration. I found the discussions of  the angelic realm and of the battle between the good and evil angels to be particularly intriguing, especially since we are involved whether we want to be or not.

Among the many anecdotes the author shares is one about his paternal grandmother. The poor lady had  a particularly tragic life but she never gave up her faith. Her trust in God was unshakable. The power of such blind, powerful faith had enormous repercussions for future generations, although the little grandmother never lived to see it. We do not know what good God will draw out of circumstances which to us are sheer misery. Since we cannot see God's entire plan then there is nothing for us to do but live in trust and abandonment to His love and mercy.

I will end with a quote from The Invisible World:
Nobody likes crosses. Nobody likes to suffer. But oftentimes that's exactly what we need most, because that's what works best. In the end, it's the crosses and trials and tests that are most effective in shaping us into the kind of human beings we're meant to be. Crosses change us. They change us by exposing the invisible truth about life — the truth that the devil wants to keep secret from you, the truth that the devil wants to stay hidden — the truth that we're in the midst of a colossal invisible battle. (p.151)

(*NOTE: The Invisible World was sent to me by the author's representative in exchange for my honest opinion.)

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