Personal Favorite Lent Album - The Lover and the Beloved

Nick Alexander here... If I had to choose a single album that represents my devotion to the Lenten season, hands down, that honor would go to The Lover and the Beloved by John Michael Talbot.

Contrary to the increasing cliches predominant in Christian Contemporary Music, this album presents poetry that highlights the poetry of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and the late Thomas Merton. Not only in content, but in form--this album eschews the lavishly ultra-production of his Contemporary Christian peers, and presented an album as sparse as possible... one voice, one guitar, nothing else. Such a sound is as counter-cultural as it can possibly be, much moreso than today's crisp highly glossy, radio formats. This was the album that introduced me to the Dark Night of the Soul from St. John of the Cross. Beforehand, it was very easy to be sucked into a "health & wealth" gospel that was blasting thru the television airwaves. Just last year, even Mother Teresa's diaries demonstrated her very own "Dark Night of the Soul" experience, where she did not feel the touch of God for forty years. And yet, she proved herself faithful throughout that ordeal, changing many lives throughout. I cannot recommend this sparse, challenging, and ultimately beautiful album highly enough. John Michael Talbot's guitar prowess has never been surpassed as he is here, and the poetry effectively matches his soothing voice and temperament. You will not experience Lent in the same way.