Music Review: Divine Comedy by Jackie François

Divine Comedy  by Jackie Francois (spiritandsong.com, 2012)

Jackie François has released her anticipated second album. Divine Comedy is a follow-up to her debut album, Your Kingdom is Glorious. Jackie, a multi-talented Catholic artist and speaker, is well-known for her work with young people and her advocacy of the Theology of the Body. She is a young woman dedicated to the Gospel and through words and actions is a role model for young people, especially girls. If you happen to follow Jackie on Facebook or Twitter you’ll know that she is not only deeply dedicated to Christ and His Church, but she is also downright funny. If you’ve had the chance of seeing her in-person, you’d also note that Jackie Francois is an authentic and humble human being–unafraid to speak her mind, but does so with compassion and understanding.

Divine Comedy is an expression of who Jackie François is and of her profound trust and faith in God. In this eight-track album, Jackie has gifted the Church with a blend of ballads and upbeat compositions that remind the listener of the joy of living in Christ’s love. There is much to love about this album, including the title track, which SpiritandSong.com describes as “bear[ing] profound testimony to the theology of the body.” My favorite tracks include: “Everything You,” “From Glory to Glory,” and “New Creation” –all fantastic songs for worship, adoration, and meditation and all songs that I have played over and over again in the past few days. I can easily see these songs being use at retreats, prayer services, and liturgies.

Wondering about that title? Ever read Shakespeare? As I remind my literature students: tragedies end in death, comedies end with weddings. Hence, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy (the star-crossed lovers died) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy (two simultaneous weddings!). Ever read Dante’s The Divine Comedy? The three-part epic poem ends in Paradise where Dante encounters “[t]he Love which moves the sun and the other stars” (Canto XXIII, Line 145, Longfellow trans.). Before he makes it to paradise, however, he has to go through hell and purgatory. My students often ask, “what’s funny about that?” Ah, there’s joy–unobstructed pure joy when Dante meets the triune God and his soul unites with Him. As a literary nut, I couldn’t help but love the title of this album. According to SpiritandSong.com: “Jackie François presents our lives as a divine comedy that concludes with the happiest of all endings: the salvation we find when we, as the Church, are finally married to Christ at his return.” Awesome, right? I love it.

Divine Comedy is a great new album from Jackie François and I hope that you’ll take the opportunity to check it out. The album is available on iTunes and at SpiritandSong.com (you can find the enhanced CD here AND sheet music! Score!).

On a personal note I can’t end this post without saying that as a teacher of young women and as a young woman myself, I find it refreshing that there are young female role models that are living out their faith in the public arena. Jackie François is certainly one of them. The Church is blessed to have her following her call in service to God and His people–speaking and living out the Gospel in her ministry. I’m looking forward to seeing what else God has in store for Jackie and will keep my eyes peeled for album #3.

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