PAINTINGS BY
Wilfried Joye



THE TEN BRIDESMAIDS

The Ten Bridesmaids
Meditations by

Bernie Mullen
Introduction:

Wilfried Joye was born in Dadizele, Belgium in 1939. He was ordained a priest in 1964 in the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He has been working as a missionary in Potchfestroom in South Africa since 1966. He has often been exhibited in South Africa and in Belgium and his paintings often portray rural life and the human situation. In this series of paintings; the Ten Bridesmaids Joye vibrantly expresses through scriptural symbols and the contrast of colours the plight of the five foolish bridesmaids and the drawing into Love of the five Wise Bridesmaids.

Opening Prayer:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…

Pause for reflection:
Centring Music:
Maria Sophia Shekinah
(Maria: The Presence of Divine Wisdom)
CD: Hallowed be Thy name: Pieter Volger

I have chosen this wonderful piece of mantra music called ‘Maria Sophia Shekinah’ or ‘Maria: The Presence of Divine Wisdom’ because it expresses the sacred words used by the ancient mystics who knew the ‘energy’ of Sophia (Wisdom). Through this mantra we experience the feminine aspect of Wisdom described so beautifully in the book of Solomon. The Hebrew word, ‘Shekinah’ (Divine Presence) expresses the Godhead in unity between the created and the ‘uncreated’ powers of the Divine Fatherhood and Divine Motherhood in the universe. The poignant music echoes in our hearts and draws us into the tragic world of lost wisdom, of our foolish blindness to what divine Love wants to do for us. It leaves us bereft and lonely with the longing for the Kingdom we inadvertently fail to recognise: The rich and wonderful home of our being that we miss until we turn our gaze and stay awake and respond to Love call.

Scripture Reading:
(Matthew 25: 1-25)

‘Then the Kingdom on heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry. ‘Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied. ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore stay awake, for you know neither the day not the hour.

Pause for reflection:

I foolishly eat from the forbidden fruit…
The Ten Bridesmaids

I hold within my human hands
The path of deep regret.
Rigid in its grasp
And greed for power,
My unbending arm intently describes
My joy, about to be so cruelly,
So callously
Crushed...

I close my eyes to simple reality;
I close my eyes to Love
I close my lips
And mute the words of Love’s expression
I hold my being in purple mourning
For my created soul’s lost
Light

I contemplate the future fruit alone;
I hold it; sacred in my hand
Ripe and ready;
Waiting for the journey of acceptance,
For surrender
To the one who knows my destination
The One who woos me into truth and Life...

I close my human eyes.
My human heart excludes the gift
Of true knowledge and true Life.
The resistance of my being’s surrender
To chosen gift of wise acceptance
Of the one who knows
My foolish heart, my waiting world
My long foretold
Rebirth, my struggle back to Life…

I contemplate and cling to
The future fruit that has become
My past…
Pause for reflection:

Prayer:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…

Pause for reflection:

My foolish heart worships self-made gods….
The Ten Bridesmaids

I am burdened with
This calf of careless worship.
My lamp of love;
My way to Light is sadly spent.
My hands in futile worship are raised;
The falsities of life
I praise…

My opened eyes are blind to Wisdom’s
Hymns of hope.
My lips their idol words
Have so forlornly said.
My blue-tombed heart
Is shut to healing waters;
I cannot sing to Love within.
My songs of sojourn find my empty
Worship vessel’s hollow sounds
Unheard, unuttered
In my soul’s long suffering.

I am burdened with
This calf of careless worship.
My closed façade speaks fear
Of true love’s rising
Of foolish worship’s banishment…

Pause for reflection;
Prayer:
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom set me free.

Centring Music:
CD: Hallowed be Thy name: Pieter Volger
‘Derek Kedosha Yirme’yahu’
‘Blessed is the Holy Way of Yah who loosens the Womb’ or opens creation…

This mantra in the words of the ancient biblical Hebrew pulls us back to the right path into the true worship of Love. We begin to understand the on-going creation through the way of holiness and divine service. As we are instructed through the vibrations of the divine name, our body with past and future combines, and we reclaim our confidence in the time to come as a messenger of the Derek, the pathway to the higher worlds of Light.

Allow yourself to move your body slowly and reverently in a stance or holy praise while you listen to the mantra.

In my foolishness worldly pleasures become my daily bread…
The Ten Bridesmaids

I have closed my eyes to love
I am pigged out on my greed
For earth’s pale pleasure fruits that don’t know how
To feed my spirit’s longing
Into Life.
My breasts are filled
Like pleasure pantries
That try to store
The pleasure needs
That cannot feed
My life.
In nakedness
In poverty of pride
I contemplate my foolish,
Driven roads to bondage.

I await the blue, the balmy waters
Of my beauty’s baptism
To flood my broken heart;
To once again replenish
The dying flame
Of my lamp’s lost life.

Pause for reflection:
Prayer:
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…





My foolish heart is turned from Truth…
The Ten Bridesmaids

My darkened eyes
Turn away from Truth
I create a path of live
From light to blindness
The cock crows my lament;
Crows my birth of sadness
And denial
Its orange feather flames
Burn my bright new
World of self made darkness.

But you, my glorious God
My bridegroom of great compassion
Need no flame
Of little human wisdom.
Your wide awake eyes of love
That is all Wisdom’s flame
Hold my stubborn
And resistant heart
And bring me back
To heaven…

Pause for reflection:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…



I am wise enough to see…
The Ten Bridesmaids

Your Sacred Light burns bright.
My senses fuelled; inflamed,
My hands and heart are warmed;
I wait in patient hope
My hands like candle flames
Are drawn to Light
My being in truth
In deep devotion desires,
You …
Although the night of faith has come,
Although I cannot see your journey
Into our wedding’s room,
I do not despair.
I listen for your entry call
I hear the silence of your promise:
The light of prayer
Permeates the stillness of my soul.
O Sacred One,
I wait inflamed,
For your templed presence
Within my burning being.
O Holy One,
I wait for
You…
Pause for reflection:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…

Pause for reflection:




I see that God is everywhere…
The Ten Bridesmaids

Your fire keeps my lamp of love
Alight
My ancient journey
My burning bush
In flames my history
And always shows
Your Presence in My life.
Your eternal, your essential
Love-creation
Emerges from the Wisdom
Of your Womb.
You leave no un-visited room
No unopened door
No burial place of light
Un-entered
Or untouched.

My vessel of life’s oil
Remains receptive
For the transformation
Of your Love…

Fill me Lord
With the source of all creation,
With the Mother of all Truth,
With the power of your Spirit
With the yes of faith
Light my darkness
Keep me waiting at the door
Of life’s eternal home…

Pause for reflection:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…

I see that we are pilgrims…
The Ten Bridesmaids

You light me with your knowledge
I flower in your Presence
I die to every
Illusion that is ‘lit’
By ignorance
Of You…
In my human pilgrimage
I journey to my
Death: my life in You
My Wedding Feast,
My banquet of fulfilment
The eternal Truth
Of You…

And at my journey’s end
The window of your Wisdom
Opens for the flame that burns
Within my lighted lamp:
My soul’s bright fire
Of longing and of waiting
Lord, for all life’s destiny
Lord, for only You….

Pause for reflection:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…


I see that God is near and provides…
The Ten Bridesmaids

Your Wisdom in creation sings.
All creatures of your earth
Echo in wise and prayerful praise
Your generosity, your total giving in all
Of life.

You burn the land of no reception.
You water seeds of new perception.
You wash away the clutter of false gods,
You clear the greed for self indulgent power,
You purge the pleasure that distracts from
Purity of life’s intent.
You bring the feast of fruit
That has grown from
Not my own,
But form you
Tree of Life, your tree
Of Truth…

O Sacred one
You give us all
And more
We cannot contain
In our small lamps
The flame of love
You light…

Elohim, Godhead One
We praise you
With new life…

Pause for reflection:
Prayer:

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to live
I long to have the essence of my being
By Wisdom’s Womb, by Love created.
In your Wisdom Lord I long to live…

In my heart Lord, give birth to Wisdom
Share your beauty and your Life with me?
In your secret, hidden work
Transform my frail humanity?
In your Wisdom Lord, I long to be…

In your Wisdom Lord, I long to dwell
Open my soul’s closed doors;
Let me enter into Love unfettered,
By your constant Love set free.
Into your Bridal Chamber,
The home of all creation,
Usher my searching heart, my restless being;
Fulfil my human life in your Holy Mystery….
Lord, in your Mothering Wisdom I long to be…

Centring and Exit Music:
CD: Hallowed be Thy name: Pieter Volger
Elohim (‘Godhead’)

We come to closure of this meditation with the magnificent experience of musical prayer conveying profound focus in praise. Here is a strong and deep and more universal community of Divine Presence. An omnipotent feeling of the actual Godhead behind the universe comes through voices singing out the ancient words uplifting the soul to higher and higher aspects of the heavenly Godhead called ‘Elohim’ in biblical Hebrew.
Amen


Copyright © 2009 Wilfried Joye. All Rights Reserved.

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