The vocation and mission of hagiotherapy

Written by: prof. Tomislav Ivančić, PhD

We serve others through our vocation

Dear reader, the discussion below seeks to clarify one very important issue. There are different vocations in society and those vocations serve people. Some are workers and others are domestic helpers. Some are doctors, others are patients. Some are road workers and others are drivers. Some are police officers, others are soldiers, still others are politicians, and others are cultural, artistic or educational workers. Also, in the Church we have priests, bishops, monks, nuns. And every religious community has its task, its charisma.

All people, each in his vocation, always serve others and that is the essence of our life. To be at the service of others. Why? Because others are at our service. We live off of what others have done.

Society would disappear very quickly if it were not for the most diverse professions. And there is no more important or less important profession. As a professor, I serve the people, my faculty, and the entire university. The doctor serves the patients, the hospital and the entire healthcare system. Farmers serve to provide something to eat and to keep that food healthy. All people, each in their vocation, always serve others and that is the essence of our life. Being at the service of others. Why? Because others are at our service. We live from what others have made; we live off of those who produce bread, shoes, socks, suits, cars, planes, trams, bicycles…; we are cured by what doctors and pharmacists do, we are educated by what educators, teachers, and university professors do. We live from others and that is why we need to live for others.

Each of us has our own life vocation, specifically our own life project. Or rather, each of us is a specific project.

In this context, the Community of Prayer and the Word also has important, fundamental tasks in human history, for every human society and for every individual – man.  These are the tasks of the new evangelization and hagiotherapy, which constitute the charisma of the Community.

Charisma comes from the ancient Greek word chárisma, which means love or God-given grace, God’s trust in man. Charisma is, therefore, a task that God entrusts either to individuals or to some groups of people.

The most important thing is to get the experience of faith.

The Community of Prayer and the Word was formed based on the experience I had on August 3, 1975. Namely, I decided to pray to the Lord for three weeks to enlighten me – what will I do with the student religious education centre established in Frankopanska Street in Zagreb, where hundreds of students came and where something needed to be done from them, not just to give them lectures. Then came the inspiration that the most important thing is to come to the experience of faith, the experience of grace, the experience of the Holy Spirit, and on the other hand, to meet personally in spirit the historical person, God and man, Jesus Christ. From this personal encounter with God and experience of grace, came the book Encounter with the Living God,, which deals with this very reality – how to meet Jesus Christ, how to experience faith and how to be able to bring others the good news of Jesus Christ, salvation, the forgiveness of sin and to a new humanity.

The Community of Prayer and the Word is particularly significant in that it has been working in a new evangelization since 1975. The entire Catholic Church has recognized this ministry only in the last few years. For decades, I have held seminars on the new evangelization in Croatia, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway, Belgium and France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, the USA, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, almost all over the world. In these seminars people are taught that God exists and that each of us carries that security within us – God exists, I met him at the moment of conception because He created me and that God appeared in history alive in the image of Jesus Christ; therefore I know what He is like and therefore I am not afraid of Him; I am happy that God exists and that is why I try to get in touch with Jesus Christ.

Then in 1990, I had another profound experience, and that is that we cannot fully understand man if we do not study who he is as a person, responsible because he has a conscience, as a freedom, as a consciousness. Studying, I realized that man is the most severely wounded on the anthropological level, on the spiritual soul, and that the sources of all his misfortunes, illnesses and deaths are actually on that level. By separating himself from God, man became like a tree that has separated itself from its roots, and since then, man has been unhappy, suffering and decaying, and is also the cause of mental and somatic illnesses. Thus, I discovered that the traumas – conflicts, evil, sin and negativity that arise on the spiritual level, on the level of the spiritual soul, actually convert into illness on the psyche and the body. Therefore, it is important for the overall health of a person to study and heal the spiritual soul. This is how hagiotherapy came about. In other words, hagiotherapy means getting to know man – who he is, what a spiritual soul is, what diseases, wounds, traumas and human spiritual souls are and how they are healed.

That 1990, therefore, the Community received a new call from the Lord and a new charisma, and that is, as we called, it hagiotherapy.

The charisma of the Community of Prayer and the Word, therefore, on the one hand, wants to show the whole world that the new evangelization according to the latest results of theological, philosophical and anthropological research is an essential task of the modern Church. For we have an innumerable number of baptized people who have never become Christians; we have innumerable pious believers, but they have nothing to do with Scripture or with the living Jesus Christ but are preoccupied with their nature and some of their religiosity. They were baptized, but they are still Gentiles. The new evangelization means their baptism. They received baptism, but now they need help to accept that baptism so that it can renew them.

It is about our charisma through the new evangelization heals man’s heart in relation to the Creator, that is, helping man to gain a true image of God, a true relationship with the Creator and thus gain a solid ground where he can be sure because there is someone who loves him, who forgives him and the end with whom he can overcome all diseases, all deaths and all evils.

And then the Community has another task. Not only does it introduce people to God and heal the relationship between God and man but it heals man in himself.

For, just as man has a relationship with God, so man has a relationship with his body and his psyche. Man is essentially a spiritual soul and when that spiritual soul functions, then the whole man is healthy and functioning. Evil in the world arose precisely in this centre of man, in man’s spiritual soul, in this freedom of man to decide for good or for evil. The first man of human history, the Bible calls him Adam, moved in the opposite direction. He chose evil, against God, and he wanted to become God himself. Since then, the entire human history has been full of blood, wars, hatred, disease and death. That is why the important task of the Community of Prayer and the Word is to acquaint man with himself – with the fact that he is a person and has a conscience, that he needs life and that it is important for him to live like a person; then, that he has intellect and reason, that he has freedom and consciousness, character and creativity, that he has trust or distrust in people, in life and the future.

The charisma of the Community is therefore also hagiotherapy. Hagiotherapy means sacred therapy because it heals the sacred area of ​​man. The psyche and the body are not sacred, but man’s spiritual soul, man’s person, consciousness, freedom, responsibility and conscience – these are divine, sacred elements in him because God created them. To heal that part of man, that centre of man, means to carry out sacred therapy. Hagios means sacred, therapia means healing; Healing man in relation to himself. At the same time, it is anthropological medicine. Anthropology is the science of man, and medicine is, we know, healing. Therefore, anthropological medicine is the treatment of man in his essence, that is, his spiritual soul.

When the Community of Prayer and the Word does this, then it performs one essential service in the whole of human society.

Finally, the Community of Prayer and the Word today is a group of people who have recognized that they have the same vocation and the same mission. These are people who, since 1971, and then especially since 1990, when the first hagiotherapy centre in Zagreb was founded – the Center for Spiritual Help, have been working on these two tracks – healing people in relation to God and in relation to man. The first is called the new evangelization. The second is called hagiotherapy or anthropological medicine.

Let us re-examine ourselves 

Think now, dear reader, do you understand what evangelization is and what hagiotherapy is. Have you ever thought about it and studied it? Have you noticed people around you who are suffering, are seriously ill, and medicine and psychiatry can’t help them to the end? Have you ever wondered why medicine doesn’t help them? And have you recognized that the causes are somewhere deeper, at the level of the human spiritual soul, and that is why it can only be treated by anthropological medicine, that is, hagiotherapy?

Ask yourself: Didn’t God call me? Do I feel like I would love to help others heal the foundations of their being? What is my basic vocation and through whom did I get it? Did God call me to be an evangelizer or to be a hagioassistant? When did I experience that? How do I feel about that? Do I want to become that? Am I ready to become that? And what do I do to clear it up in me and know what I want?

Do you feel that you would like to comfort people and help them find purpose, that you would like to say to those who kill themselves, “No. Don’t do that. Live!”, do you feel that you would like to say to those who do not see the purpose: “Here it is. Your life has a purpose,” and to those who cannot forgive, to say,“ Look, when you forgive, you heal yourself. Then you are free and great”?

Do you need to tell everyone who is suffering, and does not know why “Don’t be afraid! Here on earth, we are only in one game of life. After that, we go to the locker room. We take off our bodies and go to live, where our homeland is, and that is eternity. ”Will you be the one to help others?

Have you ever accepted that life vocation to bring meaning to people, to save their lives on earth and in heaven? If you have only partially, superficially accepted it, are you ready to repent?

On the other hand, are you ready to say: Here is my decision. From now on I will live for others, from now on I will wipe away the tears of those who cry constantly, bring purpose and light to those who are in darkness and nonsense, take the hand of those who want to kill themselves and say: “I need you. Come, my friend, we will live together for others. ” From now on, I will help those who say they are atheists recognize together:“ Look! Behold, God is there before you and loves you. Do not be afraid.” From now on, I will be the one who will help those who are hungry and thirsty for good words and good people to be filled with goodness.

Now is the time to repent that we did not live what we were called to do and at the same time to respond decisively and make the decision that we will finally start living that charisma.

By that response of yours, your life will become transformed!

The foundation of the new world 

Thus the Community of Prayer and the Word has two charismas – the new evangelization and hagiotherapy, which is included in anthropological medicine. Seventy per cent of somatic and mental illnesses arise from trauma on the spiritual soul or anthropological level. If we treat the sources of these evils, then we are treating seventy per cent of our illnesses and thus making it easier for both medicine and psychiatry and psychotherapy.

Thus, the charisma of the Community of Prayer and the Word wants, on the one hand, to cure man of his fall into paganism after baptism, and on the other hand, it wants to heal man after his fall into sin and evil, after the first, original sin and after our sins; to help humanity fully renew itself, to become honest, divinely precious so that we can all say how beautiful it is to be man.

Dear reader, do you understand how great it is to work on a new evangelization and hagiotherapy and how it is the foundation of a new world?

What if God called you to take a big step on that path?

It is extremely necessary for as many people as possible, who feel that this is their life vocation, to come forward and help humanity to get rid of wars, hatred, mistrust, so that man is a brother to man, that man has compassion and mercy for man, as God has for us. And for all of us to recognize – “Look, if God wanted to become man, it means that man is immensely important!”

The vocation is always given by God as a life vocation. If you feel that call to want to heal the broken hearts of people, it is your encounter with God. It is wonderful to be man!

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The New Evangelization

The New Evangelization

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Tomislav Ivančić, Hagiotherapeutic Anthropology Man is thus created as male and

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