A Message From Anthony Morrone,
A Youthful Conformist:
I was schooled to hold fast to popular thinking, whether professed by a parent, schoolteacher, Catholic priest, sports coach, or friend. I took the safer position of fitting in, rather than standing out; many spotted my creativity, but few observed my particularity. I hid my secret well in my youth.
A Young Traditionalist:
In 1974, I graduated with honors from Pace University. I passed the CPA exam on the first try. I became a New York State Certified Public Accountant before turning twenty-seven. In 1980, I accepted an offer to become a partner in a newly formed CPA company, Horan, Martello, and Morrone. The job was exciting, but it had restrictions. I was required to follow the rules and practices of a governing board. I was particular, but I hid my secret well in my young adulthood.
The Divine Intervention Breakout
I read a one-year Bible, non-stop, for five years, beginning in 1981. In 1986, within a three-month period (at the age of 44), three guiding lights appeared in my life, as if by chance.
Father Joseph F. Girzone
Father Joe retired from the active priesthood, for health reasons, in 1981. At such time, he embarked on a successful second career as a writer and international speaker. Joe became the international best-selling author of the book series, Joshua. He lived modestly in an estate in Altamont, NY, with his associate, Sister Dorothy Ederer, a talented and skillful writer and educator. Father Joe and Sister Dorothy established a not-for-profit organization called The Joshua Foundation; this establishment promoted the teachings of the Nazarene, Jesus.
My life literally changed after meeting Father Joe and reading his books. For me, Father Joe was a real-life manifestation of the man he wrote about, Jesus of Nazareth. Joe’s written work inspired me to write my own two books in the late 1990s. I was deeply touched and honored when he offered to write a foreword for both of my works.
Father James Conway
I met Father Jim Conway at a retreat in Altamont, New York. What a day, what a treat! Father Jim was a tall, dashing Irishman with a flair for teaching the ways of the Nazarene, whether at his parish in Bronxville NY, or with a morning crowd at a local Dunkin’ Donuts. My ‘Gramps’ character from Born Under a Lucky Star was written in dedication to Father James Conway. Father Jim never missed a chance to say a kind word to anyone he met, whether friend or stranger. He never judged or talked about others. He never pointed a finger when people made a mistake. He wasn’t perfect, but most people thought of him as a holy man. I did!
Father Jim taught me that prayer is less of a request and more of a petition to accept “Thy WILL be done!”
Father Larry Rywalt
I met Father Larry Rywalt at the Passionist Retreat House in Queens, NY, in the mid-1990s. Father Larry Rywalt is my age and a junior by fifteen years to Father Joe and Father Jim. Yet, of the three guiding lights that graced my life, Larry was the only one who wore the traditional cloth of the Catholic church: a collar, black robe, and sandals.
Larry was my first, and my only, spiritual director. He was the first to teach me to listen, not speak, in prayer. Larry paints with a brush on canvas, and he can translate languages with paper and pen in hand, but what he does best is he teaches selflessness ever so gracefully.
Father Larry was transferred to Rome, Italy, twenty-plus years ago. In his absence, I turned to my inner voice, my ‘Other,’ for spiritual guidance. My prayer life took a new direction. I began journalizing my prayers and eventually that writing became my first book. In essence, Father Larry taught me how to become a messenger of God!
The E.T. factor
Emmitt Thomas Rhodes is the champion character in my first book, Born Under a Lucky Star.
Born Under a Lucky Star begins with ET wishing on his lucky star, on a starless night. He wished to understand why accepted propositions, commonly regarded by the many as correct, were not accepted by “the all.”
I have always been inquisitive, and I love to learn and investigate things, much like my fictional champion. I tend to peer and pry into equations that don’t balance naturally. I was trained to calculate numbers with a bookkeeper’s mentality, always seeking out the inequities in any equation. When I add numbers down, they must add up . . . and if they don’t, I am compelled to question why not?! What is the missing link?
While writing ET’s story in Born Under a Lucky Star, I allowed myself to wallow in the reality of imagination, away from the rote of set routines and habits. I began touring the magical realm of the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unbelievable, the unimaginable. I called this journey, “a visit to the Universe Conundrum.”
The Language of the Universe Conundrum
Any enlightened sage will tell you that God speaks to us in a number of unique yet distinctive ways. These are the times when I feel God’s presence and sense his communication to me:
Listening in the quietness of prayer
Noticing the perfection of nature in its grandeur
Writing in a journal, or writing a book, in the mist of fog, or in a ray of sunshine
Reading the written works of: Father Joseph Girzone, Sister Dorothy Ederer, Max Lucado, Deepak Chopra, Andy Andrews, Miguel Ruiz, James Bowen, John Maxwell, Eben Alexander, Bret and John Jacobs, Dalai Lama.
The Cohesiveness of Science, Spirituality, and Mathematics
Science, spirituality, and mathematics seem to coincide more perfectly today than yesterday, with the magical accomplishments brought about by Amazon’s Alexa, GPS navigation, Apple products, Microsoft software, and Google engines. The world’s thinking has changed; the impossible has been shown to be possible. I find the exploration into the universe seductive and irresistible, cunning, baffling, and mind boggling. The incomprehensible has become imaginable in my writings!
I recognize today that there is a big difference between believing something and knowing something; meaning, knowing is believing. Can you understand better if I said: ‘We all know that DNA is the molecule of inheritance, but REALLY what is DNA, if not just a punchline?’ Meaning, we understand . . . and then in the next moment, we don’t understand a thing, except to know that it does exist in a form we cannot figure out.
The lesson is simple. Things are only incomprehensible when you see them from a set point of view as follows: my grandkids see things differently than me because I was born in an era of 45- inch black and white console Magnavox televisions; they were born in an era of a 11-inch iPad Pros. An excellent metaphor for this situation is asking a fish, “What is it like to live in water?” The fish will challenge, “What water?” The fish has never known anything but the water, and thus, the fish is oblivious to it. We see what we’re conditioned to see because we cannot imagine the unimaginable.
I invite you to read the thoughts of my companion friends.
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