The Perfect Album for Lenten Reflection

Susan Bailey of Grapevine Magazine writes: I receive a lot of CDs and many are pretty good. Once on a while though one really stands out. Danielle Rose's latest, "I Thirst," is such a CD. The 14 songs on this album ruminate on Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in a deep and complex way that makes for perfect Lenten reflection. Danielle had tremendous insight into the heart and soul of Mother Teresa and seemed to sense intuitively her "dark night of the soul" that ended up lasting 40 years. Catholicism is a faith of contradictions, and this truth is played out more and more as one goes in deeper and deeper. The poor being generous. The sorrowful knowing deep joy. Darkness being a gift. These are the kinds of issues that Danielle Rose deals with on "I Thirst." The opening and title track of the album dives in deeply. The song is based on two words that Christ spoke on the cross: "I thirst." These two words appeared next to the crucifix in every chapel of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa's order and they serve to remind the sisters of their fourth vow: "to satiate Christ's thirst for souls through 'wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor' " (liner notes of CD). But as Danielle writes, "I thirst not for water, I thirst for belief, I thirst for your gaze to wash over me. I'm lonely and broken, I'm weary, forsaken, Why have you abandoned me?" There are so many other wonderful examples such as "Small Things with Great Love," "Love Till It Hurts." etc. The biggest 'contradiction' is "The Joy of the Lord." Mother Teresa was well known for her joy and the ever-present smile on her face and this, of course, made it all that much harder to believe the incredible suffering she went through in secret. The surprise of this song is what Danielle was going through during this time, for she was discerning her vocation in the midst of having lost her voice. From a personal note, I love the song, "You Did It to Me." I've been struggling learning how to apply Lectio Divina to my scripture reading. Lectio Divina is an ancient practice of praying the scripture through reading, meditation, contemplation and action. Part of the Lectio process is repeating the scripture to yourself, to make it a part of you. I was having a hard time practicing Lectio even though I've been reading a wonderful book on it (Praying the Bible by Karl Schultz). This song suddenly made the whole process come alive. As I sang the refrain, I was practicing Lectio and I didn't even realize it at first! Lectio is a wonderful thing to practice on all of these songs. A wonderful thing to do during Lent. "I Thirst" is available through World Library Publications at www.wlpmusic.com. Click on the Artist Tab and then click on Danielle's name; then click on the "I Thirst" link to hear samples and purchase your copy. Be sure and listen to the GrapeVine News Minute podcast from January 27th (known as Episode #74 on the player - look for the date because there are two episode #74s! My error, this should have been labeled as #75) and this coming weekend, Feb. 3 (episode #76) to listen to the back story of this album and more importantly, learn more about what goes into discerning a vocation. One thing I sure learned - it's far from an individual decision! There is also a video link that will be included on the show notes about another vocation story involving the daughter of one of my longest and dearest friends (from the iPadre podcast). I found Danielle's story to be so compelling. I found "I Thirst" to be compelling even before knowing the story, but after what I've learned, the music comes alive even more so. I hope it aids you in your Lenten reflections.