PAINTING



Wilfried Joye

MEDITATION

Bernie Mullen

A Meditation On The Ordinary

A MEDITATION ON THE ORDINARY
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 S A and in Belgium and his paintings often portray rural life and the human situation. His works are vibrant and appealing and he uses the fish as his symbol in most of his works. This is because the fish represents insight (it never closes its eyes) these remain open for the reception of life and truth. The mouth of the fish is always readily open and this symbolises capacity for the ‘food of life’ in its purity and fullness. The paintings of Joye are often religious and he presents to the world a journey of deep faith, the sacredness of life and the joy of hope. Fr Joye was a close friend of Fr Frans Claerhout and he often exhibited with him in South Africa and internationally.

Opening prayer:

When my hands touch water,
I touch in sacred-union moment:
I touch life’s essence and life’s light.
I touch Love,
I believe that Christ
Is earthed in me...
My being is washed in Joy:
Christ sets me free.

When my feet tread floors
I walk with unspoken hope.
I trust Love
To empty out my heart-room:
I believe that Christ
Is earthed in me…
I feel my home that was,
Is His;
Christ sets me free.

When my body bends,
My feet and hands are held
For Christ to temple:
I hear all that Love in silence speaks,
All that love within me keeps,
In all creation seeks.
I believe that Christ
Will build his promised home
In all that is simple and that is plain;
In the daily, ordinary me…

Pause for reflection:

Centring Music:
‘To the Water’
Words and music by Máire Brennan/Tim Jarvis
CD: Whisper to the Wild Water
STARCD 6545

Yaweh look now on me
Clouded the sky I see
Make my eyes crystal clear
Walk with me to the water

Tabhair domh do lámh…
(Give me Your hand…)

Yaweh You gave me love
Cradle this flame above
Rest your hands upon my head
Lead me down to the water

Tabhair domh do lámh…

Yaweh make me Your stream
Place me inside Your dream
Touch my mouth, softly call
Take me out to the water

Pause for reflection:

Scripture Reading:

Aramaic translation of:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’

Happy and aligned with the One are those who find their home in breathing; to them belong the inner kingdom the queendom of heaven.

Blessed are those who are refined in breath; they shall find the ruling principles and ideals guided by God’s light.

Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity; their “I can!” is included in God’s.

Healthy are those who devotedly hold fast to the spirit of life; holding them is the cosmic Ruler of all that shines and rises.

Resisting corruption, possessing integrity are those whose breath forms a luminous sphere; they hear the universal Word and feel earth’s power to accomplish through their own hands. Healed are those who devote themselves to the link of the spirit; the design of the universe is rendered through their form.

Pause for reflection:

The spacious simplicity, the poverty of line and ordinariness of the subject draws us deeply into this painting. Wilfred Joye uses domesticity to call us into what is deeply and essentially our destiny: completeness in God. He reflects for us the neediness of the Spirit we must respond to so that God is able to become fully ours. We need do nothing but what is essential to our humanity to allow this. We are called to fully respond to the daily call of life.

The woman we see before us is rigid in stance. The straight lines of her back, arms, blouse and skirt form a bridging conduit to her softer but disproportionately large hands that seem to flow over the rigidly and simply shaped bucket. We see with clarity her almost experimental touch of water. It is as if she understands the need to remain in contact with it, not to sink beneath it but to furtively explore it. We sense that this will inevitably draw her deeply into its cleansing mystery. She forms an obvious conduit from her earthy natural floor to the purity of water. It is as though she recognises that all on earth meets all that is not but through constant fidelity all will become one.

Pause for reflection

Prayer: Ps 63
O God, you are my God-
For you my body yearns;
For you my soul thirsts,
Like a land parched, lifeless
And without water,
O God, you are my God…

Pause for reflection

In spite of her rigidity, the woman seems totally focused and absorbed in what she is doing. Her large feet tell us that she is well balanced and accustomed to her daily routine. She is familiar with her daily chores, mundane, unrewarding and perhaps unnoticed, though they may be. Her feet tread bare wooden floors, her hands toil with cleansing. She stoops over the weight of labour. However, she seems a willing and familiar participant. Although she stoops she is also leaning on life’s bucket; she does not attempt to lift it. She is dead to all but contemplating its meaning. There is something tranquil and surrendered about the woman in drudgery. The spacious and uncluttered floor, the bright colour of the bucket and the rose, whites, browns, blues and orange combinations of all that frames the painting helps us to understand that we are surrounded, as is this woman, by light that is not our own. It is light that encompasses and enhances all it touches. It is the light of her world. It rains upon all about her that is exposed and receptive.
Prayer:

O God, you are my God-
For you my body yearns;
For you my soul thirsts,
Like a land parched, lifeless
And without water,
O God, you are my God…

So I look to you in the sanctuary
To see your power and your glory.
For your love is better than life;
My lips offer you worship!

Pause for reflection

It is not only the position and bridging dimensions of the woman’s body that attract attention; it is also her head and facial expression. Here we experience profound silence. Her eyes are closed to all her environs. It seems her work is done. There is distinct passivity and yet distinct response in her bearing. In fact we cannot but help realise that the woman is in a kind of ecstasy: she is fully absorbed and fully aware. It seems that nothing can distract her from the completeness into which she is finds herself taken. We feel that this woman is taken to where she finds peace and joy. We feel that she has not created this situation but that she has responded to something beyond herself and her understanding. Her demeanour expresses humble encounter and surrender.

Pause for reflection:

Prayer:
O God, you are my God-
For you my body yearns;
For you my soul thirsts,
Like a land parched, lifeless
And without water,
O God, you are my God…

So I look to you in the sanctuary
To see your power and your glory.
For your love is better than life;
My lips offer you worship!

I will bless you as long as I live
I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.
My soul shall savour the rich banquet of praise,
With joyous lips my mouth shall honour you!

O God, you are my God…

Pause for reflection

Before we are able to leave this painting, Wilfred Joye again draws us to his symbol of all that is cleansing and pure: the symbol of the fish. We meet it with reverence in the woman’s face. Her mouth is open in praise and in reception of all that Love will gift in her. This woman portrays for us the sacred life of God in us. The ordinary, daily and inexplicable way in which we are eternally loved and transformed into the fullness of our human potential. It is not prayer of our own creation. It is absolutely God’s and we are asked simply and wholly to respond with our being firmly rooted in the ordinariness of the daily grind. We are called to the reality of faith. It is who we are and what we do that makes ordinary people but is what God does in us that makes us extraordinary. God does his work of love in us if we allow this.

Pause for reflection:

Closing music: Mystic Earth: Terra: Amphonic Music: Time Music Cd:TM1133


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