Lesson Learnt from the Goretti Girls

IMG_20160604_000058.jpg“I will find my way; I can go the distance.  I’ll be there some day if I can be strong.  I know every mile will be worth my while; I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong…”

These lyrics are taken from Go the Distance, the key song in Disney’s 1997 movie Hercules.  The film is a wonderful one in that on a very basic level it is a film about wanting to be a hero.  Scratch the surface and we actually see a film with a message which many of us can relate to: belonging.  The desire to belong somewhere.  Everyone of us has an innate desire to belong somewhere or with someone.  It is something I ask myself on a regular basis and I am still no closer to an answer.

The reason I chose to open the blog with these lines is because tonight (or last night as it’s gone twelve…) I was blessed to witness two phenomenal young women as they launch their first music album together.  The women are Meabh Carlin and Hannah McCauley; otherwise known as the Goretti Girls.  The Goretti Girls is  a lay community in County Louth with a mission of prayer, service and hospitality.  Christ is at the centre of all that they do as is their devotion to the great Saint of youth; St Maria Goretti.  I arrived at the Church where the album was being launched rather early and was able to sit and and just settle myself ahead of the album launch.  The words of the song Go the Distance kept coming up in my head as I sat and waited and I just couldn’t figure out why. 

It was a strange way to engage with an album launch; constantly asking myself where do I belong?  Suddenly  I was struck by memories of occasions in the distant and not so distant past where I have hurt others.  It’s not easy to be aware of knowing that you have played a part in hurting something pure, innocent and beautiful.  I was reminded of good memories too, but the more painful ones seem to take hold a bit easier than the good ones.  What was quite possibly the most difficult part of the evening was sitting and thinking “Do I belong here?”  Not a question of do I belong at this launch, but rather, do I belong in this Church?  Not an easy question to answer…

The launch itself was powerful and it was great to catch up with old friends and be grateful to have them in my life.  The real lesson of the evening was to be found on the journey home.  As I got into the car I removed the Bee Gees Mythology album from the cd player (Disc 1…it’s fairly incredible!) and put on the Goretti Girls I Will Wait album.   It was lovely to listen to these beautiful hymns and savour all the precious moments on the album.  There are some tracks that really stand out.  For me these are The Joy of the Lord (delighted one of my most treasured Bible quotes found it’s way onto the album) and Joseph’s Journey are worth paying serious attention.  However as I was approximately half way home the final track began; Here I Am.  As I heard those beautiful words being sung “With your grace, I can see your face and I know I’m not alone.” I became rather…emotional. I know it’s not just the marvellous lyrics but the incredible talents of Meabh and Hannah as they sing and play this most sincere prayer.  Tears began streaming down my face and I prayed harder than I have prayed in a rather long time.  I cried out to God and implored His help.  I thanked Him for all that is good in my life and I told Him what is hurting in my life.  This wasn’t the most convenient time for God to reach me but it had to be done.  As the track ended the cd began it’s repeat…the songs like every good prayer take on a whole new meaning when you listen to them a second time.  My experience of them was totally different.  Hearing someone sing about Jesus waiting for you…patiently, is quite encouraging.  As I reached home listening to Joseph’s Journey my heart was rather full and less sore.  This is a marvellous blessing.  I’ve known Meabh for some years now, both as a friend and a trusted confidant and listening to this music I have given thanks that she and Hannah have been able to create this absolutely stunning prayer.  I encourage everyone who desires to know the heart of Jesus better to listen to this cd and trust me, it will move you.  Open your heart to Him and He will transform you.  I extend my most sincere thanks to Meabh and Hannah for their work, and I dedicate the following prayer to them.  It was one I put together some years ago (following my series of prayer poem things) and I think it is quite appropriate.  The girls have sung of Jesus waiting to encounter us and this prayer expresses my desire to encounter Him and do Him some degree of service.  Essentially it is a prayer asking; where do I belong?  I simply call it Here.

Here:

How long will you face be hidden?

How long are we to be apart?

How long must I sit here,

Yearning to give you my heart?

 

I have tried moving on,

Tried ignoring my heart’s cry.

But when I do I only end up

Living my life as a lie.

 

My heart is yours,

Take and do what you will,

All  I ask is that

You would do so well.

 

Please enjoy my heart, 

Please don’t turn it away.

For without You in my life,

I’d have no words to say.

 

It is my heart’s desire,

To be the one who makes you smile,

Why must such a simple thing,

Be such a complex trial?

 

Love.

 

Love is worth waiting for,

It is worth all the pain.

All the hurt, yearning and cries,

Love is my aim. 

 

Find the Goretti Girls on Facebook…they’re fairly inspiring!

Catch up with my on http://www.facebook.com/DominicOReillyWriter or http://www.twitter.com/DominicOReilly

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