In this episode, Lorissa shares about St. Joseph Moscoti and how his life and example can teach us about the beautiful and sacred ministry of holding space and being present to others. 

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Hello, my friends, and welcome to episode 66 of Made for Greatness. I am your host today, Lorissa Horn. And of course, as always, I am so happy that you are here with me today. Before I dive into this week’s episode, I want to ask you a huge favor. If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, if you’ve been blessed by this podcast, would you mind, at some point, either after this episode is over or in the near future going and leaving us a review and, or a rating on our podcast, every time someone does that, it helps boost us, our ratings and it helps us reach more people. So if you could do that, we would greatly appreciate it. And I’m just gonna read a couple of reviews from some of our listeners., these are the most recent ones.

And if you’re listening to this right now and you wrote one of thank you so so much here is the first one. Thank you for this inspirational podcast. During trying times of the pandemic, it has a great variety of information for families, including growing in faith, setting boundaries for yourself as a spouse and teens, I have highly recommended it. Another listener says I love your podcast. I feel like every one of them relates to me exactly when I need them. God is watching over me with your advice. Thank you. And finally, this last one, regardless of your stage of motherhood, the insights and encouragement, Sterling and Larissa share are spots on every single week. This podcast is an answered prayer and one, I make sure to never miss, ah, my goodness. Thank you so much for those reviews. And if you haven’t already please go and do that for us would be just a huge, huge gift.

And it just means so much to us. So let’s now dive into this episode today. I can’t wait to share some insights with you. Some things have really been on my heart lately and in particular, really in the last few days. So all of this kind of started for me this last weekend, my husband and I, were blessed to go to dinner this past weekend with a group of other Catholic people and, some good friends of ours. And then also a couple of Catholic priests. And we were at this dinner and having a great conversation. It was, it was really beautiful and really powerful. Just the things that we were talking about and sharing. And then suddenly we kind of got, started talking about saints. I think one person at the table mentioned something about one of their favorite saints and it prompted one of the priests to ask us to go around the table and to share some of the saints that have had an impact on our own lives.

And all of a sudden, we were deep into this incredibly beautiful and powerful conversation about the saints and how the saints have impacted our lives. And it was really powerful to listen to each person share different saints and, and why those saints had, you know, why they had a relationship with that. Saint, you know, some of them were patron saints or saints that had led them maybe to their future spouse or to their vocation. And, and it was just, it was so cool to hear the stories and to share the stories. And it actually took quite a while. And, and even for a, a number of us, it was pretty emotional sharing, you know, sharing these insights and sharing the ways in which the saints had so impacted our lives and we kind of, you know, we, everybody went around and shared and, and shared some miracle stories and all of this stuff. 

And I remember at that moment, just feeling like my soul was kind of set on fire, just in the sense of, of truly the, the beauty in the depth of our Catholic faith and the communion of saints and the saints that have gone before us and how yet, even though they have passed, like so many of them are integral in our lives today and, and have had such an influence in, in our lives. And it just, it was just so cool. And then after we, we got done sharing about those saints. One of the other priests kind of started talking about saints that are not so well known because first of all when we started going around talking about the saints, most of them were, you know, the saints that a lot of us know pretty well St Terraza LASU Saint Anthony, you know, those types of Saint, Saint Joseph and, and pretty well-known saints.

But then we started talking about, you know, there’s like just so many saints that we aren’t aware of, that aren’t really well known, but just extraordinary men and women that have lived wholly in virtuous lives that maybe just aren’t so well known. And so then it led to a whole another conversation about us going around and, and looking at the saints who are not so well known, but that are born or that are, that these days fall on our birthdays. So then like this, it was just crazy this conversation. So then each one of us, we were like sharing our birthdays and, and talking about these saints that are unknown or not very well known and, and stuff. And so I just wanna share with you the Saint that I had never heard of who was on my birthday, my birthday’s November 16th. And so, like, I discovered him this last weekend.

I’ve never heard of him before, and I’m just like falling in love with him. And he’s, I’ve been reading about his life and his miracles. And I just think it’s really profound because there are some things that I’ve been reading about him that I think really have a lot to do with life coaching. And, I’m just like, oh my gosh, of course, God, you would send me this Saint and I’ve gotta tell everyone about it. I gotta tell all the ladies about this Saint. So as far as I, I mean, I have never heard of him before. Maybe you’ve heard of him. I don’t know, but his name is Saint Joseph Masti okay. Masco with an M. And I love it. He actually, was born in Italy, the late 18 hundreds lived up and through like the early 20th century. And he went by St.

Joce, which is obviously Italian Saint Joce, misses Scotty. It’s very easy for me to remember because I don’t really drink wine, but if I ever do it’s Moscato wine. So it kind of sounds like Moscato anyways, I’m kind of freaking out and I just wanna share a couple of little things about him and I’m gonna dive into just what I, what he’s just like placed on my heart. This, that I hope is, is, is a takeaway for you today. So he was a, he was raised, in a family. I believe he was raised in a family of nine children. He became a doctor, was very well educated, very smart. He was a biochemist. And then in like a, a, a doctor, a physician, and he ended up, you know, working his way up. He ran a hospital in Italy. I mean, just a brilliant, brilliant man, doctor scientist, biochemist all those things.

He never got married. He was a bachelor, basically his whole life at a certain point. I think when he was 34, he just made a private vow to God to just live a life of chastity and, and celibacy for God. He had a deep and profound love for God. And for his Catholic faith, he loved the sacraments. And the thing that was so profound about his work and medicine was that he, he was a scientist through and through, and he believed in medicine and he believed in science and he performed surgeries and he did all of those things, but he recognized that God was the ultimate physician. And he knew that anything like everything in science came from God and pointed us to God that God was the ultimate physician. And he really brought his faith into everything that he did as a doctor.

And in serving his patients like I’m telling you right now, if you ha, if you are a doctor, if you have a doctor in your family, like tell him about saints, CEPI, Maco, like this guy is cool. Oh my goodness. Okay. So anyway, this is the deal. Some of the things, so he would, he would pray with his patients. Now you gotta kind of like, keep in mind like this is Italy, you know, early 19 hundreds, most people are Catholic, but one of the things that he would do with his patients is that he would really like if he were, was gonna prescribe medication, part of his prescription was, was sending them to the sacraments. Like he believed the sacraments were the, were the most important part of healing. And that God, like they would have a much better chance of being healed by going to God and going to the sacraments, going to reconciliation, going to the Eucharist than even go going into surgery.

So that was like for, for patients that were gonna be going into surgery, he would be like, okay, before you go into surgery, you need to go to the sacraments. You need to go to God. He would pray with his patients. And as I was like reading about his life and reading some of his quotes, I just found myself deeply moved by so much of it. And so I E you to go read about him. He’s an amazing Saint, but there was this one quote in particular. And, in one of the articles that I read is that it said that he had these just really profound, supernatural gifts of healing. So yes, he was a doctor, and yes, he would pray with his patients, pray for them, send them to the sacraments, all of that. But it was just said that he just lived this life of sanctity and holiness in such a profound way that people experienced healings, physical healings just by being in his presence.

and oftentimes just by sitting and being with him and, and him listening to them. So like patients would come to him and they would start telling him all the things that were, that they were experiencing and the physical problems and the symptoms and all of that. And sometimes just by being in his presence, in him being present to them and listening to them, they would experience healing and he would be able to diagnose them and help them in deeply profound ways. So there’s a, there’s like many, many miracles of healing attributed to him both while he was alive. And after his death, like many miracles and people still to this day, like are praying for his intercession and experiencing these healings. But the thing that I think hit me so hard one of his quotes that just really struck me, and this is the one that I’ve been really thinking about is this.

And he says, remember that you have to deal not only with the bodies, but also with the moaning soul coming to you, how many suffering people, you will more easily soothed by advising and going straight to their souls instead of getting good prescriptions to be given to a pharmacist, be joyful because great will be your reward, but you will have to set a good example of your elevation to God. So I heard this and I mean, I, I read this quote and I read it a number of times. You know, I think that I think it’s powerful that he talked about, you know, not only are people coming to you with bodies that are hurt, but with moaning souls. And I just like, I have this vision, like, like moaning souls that are like in deep pain and that he believed that just sitting with people could ease their sufferings, like sitting with them and, and being present with them and going to their souls could bring them as much healing if not more healing than giving them a prescription to take to a pharmacist.

And, and so there are several things I talk like I read about him where he just talked about, or like it was said that he just had this gift of being present with people and sitting and listening and that in the act of doing that, that people would experience healing from that. And of course, here he is a very holy person, and God obviously works through him in very profound and supernatural ways. But you, you know, this, this hit me pretty profoundly as I was thinking. And, and not that I’m a doctor, not that I, you know, in my coaching practice do, do you know, like, do I diagnose people or anything like that. But one of the first things that we learn in tr in, in our training and certification of being a life coach is the P is what’s called the power of holding space for people.

And so when I read this quote and I was reading about the incredible work of this amazing Saint and this amazing doctor, I was, I was clearly blown away, but I also was just thinking about how powerful it is to be able to sit and hold space for people. That’s. One of the things that we do in coaching is we have this profound opportunity to enter into the life of another person and to hold space for them to, sit and listen. You know, we’re trained to, to do our very best, the best that we can to, to listen, hold space without judgment, to be curious, to help that individual feel safe, but then to, to be able to ask questions and help them maybe peel back layers, help them to maybe see their thoughts and see kind of what’s going on.

It’s not our job to diagnose. It’s not our job to give advice or to tell someone what they should do, but to listen and to help them really sort through what’s going on in their mind, what’s going on in their hearts, all of that, their emotions too, to, to provide some opportunity for clarity to, you know, possibly hear God’s, you know, speaking in a way when you’re able to kind of slow down the thoughts and, and pull back the layers and stuff like that. And for me, that’s the great honor of being a coach, a life coach. It’s the great, you know, a gift that I feel like I’ve just been blessed my own clients to be able to, to journey with them through this process. But it’s not just in coaching. I think this is in all aspects of our lives. I, I work with teenagers.

And so, I mean, I think about the many times that a young person has come to me with a struggle or with, you know, something going on and they just need someone that can sit and listen to them. And it’s like this ministry of listening, this ministry of being present, and this ministry of, of holding space for another individual. And I think what I learned by just in the last few days of reading about St Joce mascots ministry to people, this ministry of healing is that in doing this work in holding space for people and listening and in, and in being present, that there’s great holiness to that. There’s sanity within that. And I think there’s a great opportunity to experience God’s grace in those moments. And this is the deal. I think we’re all seeing this in our lives, especially in the last few years, but we are living at such a high pace.

We’re like going a million miles an hour. We are inundated with images and social media and, you know, technology and all of this so much that it has really stripped us and taken away these, these beautiful moments with other individuals where we just get to sit and be present to each other and listen, in a sense where there’s, you know, not a clock ticking or a, we have to rush and hurry and get somewhere. I mean, really, if you think about it like we are this, these people living in this, this generation where people are limiting their sentences to 144 characters. And like now we’re like, there’s all these reals and videos, and everything’s like he’s 32nd micro micro bits of information and us sharing with each other, not to mention two years of a pandemic where we are, you know, covering our faces and masks, like hiding ourselves from each other, like really being able to see each other and our, our facial expressions and, and to see the smiles and the joy.

And oftentimes like, even, you know, so much of this time feeling isolated, not going out, not socializing, like we used to, or just even spending sometimes quality time with the people that we love the most. And so what are we seeing in this world? We’re seeing so much pain and anxiety and depression and all of these things. And so for me, when I started listening, like, or reading and learning about St. Joseph Misca, I was like, I think he’s trying, I know he’s like trying to tell me something, but I think his, his message to the world is like, we need to stop and we need to be like, present with each other. And we need to create these opportunities, of holding sacred space for one another. I know that is what I’ve been like, convicted it with deeply these last few days.

Because my mind, like right now, I’ve got so much on my plate and my, my brain is like being pulled in all of these different directions. And it’s even hard for me. I, I find myself it’s like hard at times to be present to my children, present to my husband, present to my colleagues. And, and I just feel this conviction of, okay, Larissa, how do you hold sacred space for people? When we read the lives of the saints, like so many saints just had this gift, you read about St. John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and many others where people would have an encounter with them. And maybe they would even be in a crowd with thousands of people and, and Mother Teresa, or St. John Paul II or, or whoever Padre, PIO. And yet they felt like that person was giving them their undivided attention. They felt like they were the most important person in the world at that moment. And I don’t know, I just, think about this a lot. And I think about really like all the pain and the suffering in this world and, and how much of it could be alleviated, how much of it could be softened by people just giving the gift of there to one another.

I don’t know about you. And I don’t have an answer for this, but I just, I wanna put this out there. I don’t know if this, this like, idea this, this thought convicts you in the same way, but I wanna be like Saint CEPI. I wanna be like these saints who had the ability to hold space for people and to be present and to listen without judgment, to be curious, to ask the questions and just to sit with people, whether somebody’s experiencing great joy and they just wanna share it with someone, or somebody is experiencing great pain and they feel all alone and they feel like they have no one to talk to. And like, how blessed, how blessed am I that they might want to share with me what’s going on in their heart. To me, I think these are profoundly found sacred encounters that, that, that I, I do believe that God is calling us to.

And so for me, what I’m just trying to do and, and am inspired by is to continue to read about the lives of the saints, even obscure saints that I’ve never heard of. Like, I’m just, I’ve fallen in love with St J and I know that there are many others that are just like, I’m gonna like start studying and learning about, and, and hope that like, I’ll be inspired by them as well. But I also just want to be more attentive to the people in my life that God is calling me to be present to. And our lives like our vocations, everything like we are so busy, but what if this gift of holding sacred space for people could be a profound ministry that leads us in holiness and helps other people to literally experience emotional, mental, spiritual, physical healing, and like creates a place where God’s can be poured out in a powerful way.

That is just what has been stirring in my heart. I’m convicted. I wanna just be more present. And I want to be able to really articulate the need for, for a real, like, like, like this is a real ministry. This is how we can become saints ourselves simply by holding space for other people. And it’s hard. It’s really hard. As it takes, it takes patience. It takes us like to calm me down because I, I find myself even, you know, if, if somebody comes to me and says, Hey, Larissa, can I talk to you about something? And if I have like a million things going on in my head, like really like training my mind, managing my mind to say, okay, set those things aside for a minute and be totally present. Look, this person in the eye, slow down, take a deep breath and create some space for this individual and grant it.

Like we can’t, sometimes we just can’t do that. Sometimes we have places we have to go or things that we have to do, you know, or children that are screaming in the background. So it’s not always possible, but what if God might be calling nest to try to be more attentive to the people in our lives that maybe need us in that way, and to like carve out some time for each other. We, you know, for centuries and millennium, like we did this so much better than we do it today, but here we are. And this time faced with so many distractions that we actually have to be very intentional about carving out that space and carving out that time. And this is why I think that St Joce Makati could be our new best friend in heaven. because I think that he could pray for us and help us with this great endeavor and that his prayers for us most certainly will be powerful.

And we can follow in his example and that, that through us and our desire to hold space for others, that miracles can abound. And that healings might just take place. I believe this, I believe that this is so very possible. And I’m excited about all of the possibilities for us to give the gift of being present and bringing God’s presence into the lives of others. So my sisters in Christ, this is what I have for you today. I don’t know if it resonates with you at all, if you, if you’re like, yes, I, I like needed to hear this, or gosh, you know, like, how can we do more of this? But I do wanna say this, this is one of the things that we do in our master’s program and our group coaching, or even with our one-on-one clients, is that we, we hold space for people for, for Catholic moms to come to share what’s going on in their lives and to dive into the thoughts and to, to peel back the layers and to explore and to be curious, and to see what God might be revealed in our lives and in, in what’s going on in our hearts.

So I’d like to invite you to come to check out masters, to see if this program might be beneficial to you. And we would love to have you come even just to check it out for a month, to see how your life might be blessed by the gift of, of Catholic women, Catholic other Catholic moms, holding space for each other, and for you, all right. I hope you have the most amazing week. I hope and pray that over the next few days, God blesses you with some very sacred conversations, with some very meaningful people. And that I, I hope and pray that in those conversations that you, yourself, and the people that you’re sharing your life with and talking with will experience the blessing and the healing of each other’s presence. All right, my sisters, please don’t ever forget that you are made for greatness. I love you. I can’t wait to talk to you again soon and Saint Jaap Masti please pray for us.