‘Do whatever he tells you’: Vocalist Danielle Rose
By Nissa LaPoint
Photo provided courtesy Danielle Rose
The story below continues an occasional series about people who have put into action Mary’s counsel—and Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s episcopal motto—(“Do whatever he tells you,” John 2:5) in their own lives.
Putting her whole trust in God, musician and singer Danielle Rose is strumming her life to the beat of his will.
Her “yes” to him has taken her across the globe, under the spotlight of the stage, and into the silent contemplation of a convent.
Whatever the sacrifices or fears, 32-year-old Rose has strived to follow God’s call in faithful abandon to the Scripture verse John 2:5 when Mary, referring to Christ, instructed the apostles to “Do whatever he tells you.”
“I love to reflect on that Scripture passage,” she said from her home in Los Angeles. “When Mary spoke in that passage, she didn’t say ‘Do whatever they tell you.’ She doesn’t say ‘Do what everybody else tells you.’ It’s an invitation to a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus in prayer to be able to hear what he’s speaking to your soul and respond in obedience.”
She performed at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Broomfield Aug. 25 to an enthusiastic crowd. Rose played solos with the guitar, piano and violin and joined a more than 30-member multi-parish choir in singing inspirational songs.
“I have not met anyone like her in my life,” said Tad Koriath, director of music at the parish. “She’s a remarkable presence.”
Rose’s call to music ministry began at 17 years old when she volunteered for Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Delhi, India. The nun’s comment about the United State’s lack of Christ inspired her to use her musical gifts to alleviate its spiritual poverty, she said.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in music and theology, Rose traveled the world spreading the Gospel through story and song. Her debut album, “Defining Beauty,” was released in 2001 followed by “Mysteries,” a collection of meditations on the mysteries of the rosary. She later recorded “I Thirst,” a tribute to Blessed Mother Teresa. In 2007, she released “Pursue Me.”
But during this time, God was tugging her in a different direction.
A voice injury forced her into literal silence and her concerts were suspended. It became clear that God was calling her to discern with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Franciscan charismatic religious order.
“When God asked me to surrender the music ministry, it was like he was asking me to lay down Isaac,” she said referring to another Scripture passage (Gen 22:2). “I realized he was asking me to give my whole life to him. There was a peace that came in that, but I was afraid because I didn’t know what that was going to mean about this music ministry.”
After two years of intense discernment, the community helped her see God was calling her to resume life in the world.
It was not a mistake, Rose said, but just one step in the dance of God’s will for her.
“It’s like God wanted me to be content and secure in his love for me in a way that would equip my soul to be able to say ‘yes’ in the next step,” she said.
With a renewed heart, Rose left the convent in 2009 and directed her music ministry to raise money for the China Little Flower project, a ministry for infants, disabled children and orphans, which she learned about while in the convent.
Today, God is calling her to love and honor him through her music, she said.
“He reveals his path to us and we discover it one step at a time,” she said.
She is touring before the anticipated release of her next album, “Culture of Life,” this fall.
“In the end, the only thing that matters and the only thing that will bring us fullness of joy is to please God alone by being willing to obey what he’s asking us, no matter the cost and no matter the sacrifice,” she said.