Transcript from the 8th Study of hagiotherapy, prof. Tomislav Ivančić, PhD

Free will, is the one that always wants to listen to the conscience and says: “You should do that!“ Exceptional people are those who can go against  their negative emotions, those who went working even when it was hard for them. The golden rule in the spiritual life and the life of intellectuals has always been: agere contra. Act against, do the opposite. You don’t feel like doing something, do exactly that. For you need to know that the devil affects your emotions and that is why you don’t feel like doing what is good. No, no and no. Get down to work even though you don’t feel like working. Because it is where the greatest success awaits you.

I wrote books because I didn’t feel like writing.  Even though I ached all over! I sit down and start writing. I think to myself: “What will I write? Oh, but I don’t feel like writing, I don’t have anything on my mind.” I write the first sentence, and what do I do next? The second sentence comes, then the third and finally the sentences just start to flow. I stop and after an hour, fifteen pages are there. Why don’t you, dear reader, write anything? Because you listen to the devil. You listen to the body, more precisely, you listen to negative emotions. You are not free because you don’t listen to the conscience and that is agony.

Think about it, how are you going to justify yourselves in front of St. Peter, in front of the Judge of the Eternal Life Jesus of Nazareth, when you get to the gates of heaven? You haven’t written a single book? How is that possible? Well, you know, I did not have any inspiration, you will say. Don’t you remember what prof. Ivančić said? He said that you must sit down and start writing and then inspiration will come. And why didn’t you do that? Professor Ivančić always managed to write the first sentence, however, I was not able to write neither the first sentence nor the title. Then you start to justify yourself: “You know, after all, he is a male and I am a female. He is a priest and I am just a layman. After all, he is Ivančić and I am just an attendee in his hagiotherapy study.” I would like to emphasize agere contra, do exactly what you don’t feel like doing. There you will make a big breakthrough and achieve great results. Let’s say you are tired; you’re coming down with flu and a temperature. Let us write something first and then we will measure the temperature. You say: “Oh no, …not now, now I just don’t feel like doing that, it’s terrible, I will do the dishes first, then I will iron the trousers and  after that  I will wash my hair, so in the end you say, now I am really tired, now I can’t. I can’t even read, let alone write.

Freedom always confronts fatigue, illness, bad mood, hunger, and thirst. Confronting. For you live on earth where the prince of this world rules. The devil, sin, unfreedom and that is why he has power over the body, over nature and that is why he can enslave you through your body and psyche, but you defeat him with your anthropological freedom given to you by the Creator.  Freedom, conscience, prayer.

You can be the master, not him. Do it like that. This is a new rule for you.  Next year when you come to the study your book has to be finished. You are laughing, but I mean it seriously. You all think that is impossible. That is what I also thought when I started writing my first book in 1983. I thought: “How on earth am I going to write a book.” Then I sat down and started to write slowly. I thought: “Well, Father this is working after all”.  And in two days I wrote my second book which contained 33 meditations. Then I sat down to write again and after a month and a half a book Encounter with the Living God was published. Without any special preparation, but with an experience which I have been telling you about for during three days.  With the experience of the Holy Spirit in Davor in 1975.  I wrote with that experience. That experience lasts until today.  After that, I wrote at least 99 books. Not to mention the articles. How is that possible? Look at me and do it. Sit down tonight and write 10 pages. If we want to create something, thinking only is not enough but action, too, is necessary.

When you work, you become man. Work renews you, not thought and words. Work. You must work! God works all the time. And you should work. Agere contra – everything inside you is saying: “How could you possibly write a book, please?” Well, in spite of that, I will write it. But everybody is going to laugh at me…. Wonderful, it will be a book full of humour. Each of you is original and each of you can do something ingenious.  There is a little genius in everyone, but you never seem to wake him up, you never seem to accept him, open the door for him so that he does something. You always open the door to the devil, the body, negative emotions. You keep shouting: ‘ I can’t, who am I to do that. Oh…. I am humble, I can’t do anything. That is roughly how we think about ourselves without being aware of it. That is how that kind of emotions arise   inside us, that kind of inner talk which is horrible. ‘But I can’t do it, who am I to do that, it’s easy for him – he is standing in front of a microphone. We are all sitting down here, it’s easy for him to write.’ Dear friends, start living. Move at least a millimeter away from your body.  Get closer to the spiritual soul. Get closer to Jesus of Nazareth. Let His spirit begin to work in you. You will do magnificent things, ingenious things. The moment of your greatness is coming. “Man, be careful not to go small under the stars“, says A. B. Šimić. Man, you’re made for big things. Oh, man you immensely surpass yourself, philosophy says.  Therefore, when you think negatively… Don’t let yourself be seduced.  After all, you can’t go through life being so empty and idle.

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Tomislav Ivančić (EJ)
He was born in Davor in 1938. After studying philosophy and theology in Zagreb and Rome, he was ordained a priest of the Zagreb Archdiocese in 1966. After achieving a master's degree in philosophy and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he returned to Zagreb in 1971, where he became a professor at the Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb. He is the head of the Chair of Fundamental Theology, and was one of the editors of the Theological Review. Areas of his scientific work are philosophy, theology and literature. He explores the relationship between philosophy and theology, faith and science, atheism and religiosity, revelation and faith, the Church and ecclesial communities, Christianity and religion, the phenomenon of sects and issues of theological epistemology. His special field of interest is the study of man's existential-spiritual dimension, where he discovers the way of modern evangelization and the necessity of the development of spiritual medicine, which, along with somatic and psychological, is indispensable in the complete healing of man, especially in the healing of spiritual diseases and addictions. For this purpose, he developed the method of hagiotherapy and founded in 1990 in Zagreb the Center for Spiritual Help, of which he is the head. From 1971, in addition to working at the faculty, he was a student religious teacher in Zagreb, the initiator of the prayer movement within the Church of the Croats, the founder of a religious society called the Prayer and Word Community(MiR), and the leader of numerous seminars for spiritual renewal and evangelization at home and abroad. After completing his studies and scientific doctorate in fundamental theology at ... (Read more at