Wilfried Joye


Bernie Mullen



Wisdom says, 'Make your house empty ... '

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:
In the heart of Wisdom I am clothed in silence. Silence; the source of all language
Heard and seen and spoken.
I can speak no word
But can experience in the heart of Love, The silence seen and heard and spoken; The tremor of my being created.
I am still.
In this calm of become;
Become the food of Silence Become the emptied soul for Wisdom
So that in truth The Word of Love Can tell ...

Pause for reflection:

Scripture reading:
Wisdom: 7: 22-30 (Good news Bible)
Wisdom moves more easily than motion itself; she is so pure that she penetrates everything. She is a breath of God's power-a pure and radiant stream of glory from
the Almighty. Nothing that is defiled can steal its way into Wisdom. She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God's activity and goodness. Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything. She makes everything new, although she herself never changes. From generation to generation she enters the souls of holy people, and makes them God's friends and prophets. There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom. Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and the constellations. She is better than life itself because
night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom. '

Pause for reflection;

Centering music:
Moola Mantra: 'Invocation' (track1) CD: The Moola Mantra Ben Leinbach Medial Music Cd: 14012
OM: the primordial sound of the universe
SAT: truth
CHIT: pure consciousness
ANANDA: bliss
PARABRAHMA: the supreme creator
PURUSHOTHAMA: the energy which incarnates as an avatar to guide us
PARAMATMA: the divinity present in every being
SRI BHAGAVATI: the female aspect of creation
SAMETHA: in communion with
SRI BHAGAVATE: the male aspect of creation
NAMAHA: salutations
OM: OM, the divine absolute truth ...

Pause for reflection:

We are engaged, fascinated and deeply concerned with this painting from the instant we view it. This is not only because of the vibrant blues, indigos and greens intelligently used to harmonise with subtly integrated white that intrigues viewing but also that speak of the purity of its intention. We are called to let go of all the clutter and concern for things that are not essential to our spiritual, emotional and physical health. We are called to contemplate wisely all that God provides in creation and within our own being, for our unity. We are asked to trust God's provision as do the birds of the air that need nothing more than what they are naturally given for full and beautiful life. The wisdom in this work lies within its symbols of simplicity and the
artist's insight into complete trust.

Pause for reflection:

The Lord's Prayer
From Prayers of the Cosmos: Neil Douglas-Klotz Aramaic translation of: 'Give us this day our daily bread'
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight Subsistence for the call of
Growing life
Give us the food we need to grow Through each new day,
Through each illumination of life's needs.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight...

Pause for reflection:

Complete trust in anything or anyone does not hang well with the human spirit or in the modern human attitude. Indeed all we aspire to in the daily way of being is to mistrust one another, to save ourselves from being conned, to preserve our self sufficiency. At first, it seems, Joye leads us to another way of living through what we perceive as irregular; first in the woman's countenance and then in the Heron that squats large and confidently through her larger than life hand. This emphasises that all creation is interdependent and integrated. All is harmonised if we allow this. The woman's eyes are not proportionately placed. The left eye is much larger than the right one. Then there is the angle of her turned head. It seems to sit almost at right angles to her very long neck and forms or completes the figure of eight with the position and lines of the Heron. The forehead seems to entwine with the whites of the flowers and the eyes, with their blue lids emphasise her commonality with creation that surrounds her. The mouth is wide and together with her eyes expresses intense awe. The straight classical nose seems to sense and draw up into her mind or brain the integration that surrounds her. The top of her head is a jumble of all the hues in the painting. She has no ears. Yet, she seems to be intently listening.

Let the measure of our need be earthiness: give all things simple, verdant,
Produce in us, for us, the possible: each only-human step toward home lit up.
Help us fulfil what lies within
the circle of our lives: each day we ask no more, no less.
Grant what we need each day in read and insight. ..
In spite of all the irregularities we are not left with a sense of disorder nor of chaos and irritation. We somehow do not want to put things 'right' but are content with the work as it is. We are rather, drawn into what is deeply mystical. The blue heron is literally deeply and heavenly blue and carries in her feather folds the indigo that heralds what speaks to us of the spiritual. The bold lines of the figure of eight that the bird completes with the woman symbolises eternity; the eternal unity of all life within Life. The heron itself has many cultural and spiritual connotations. It often characterises contemplation, quiet vigilance, transformation, and wisdom. It exhibits grace and patience and is in some cultures an omen of good fortune. Specifically in ancient African cultures the heron was said to be the liaison with God or the gods of the day. We cannot but help feel deeply involved with the Heron, the woman and all the surrounds. Nature speaks to us and through us. It supports all that is created.

Animate the earth within us: we then feel the Wisdom underneath Supporting all.
Generate through us the bread of life: we hold only what is asked to feed the next mouth.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight. ..
The silent, yet openly visual, language of nature that Joye uses, tells us volumes:
Leaves symbolise the abundance of all that life needs to sustain it: Growth, air, food, and water in abundance. The flowers speak of simplicity and purity. They lift our spirit into wonder and amazement. There are also connotations of humility and of grace in all that is small, all that is innately of the earth, the here and now. We have only to appreciate this. So, what in essence are we meant to see, hear and spiritually imbibe from our contemplation of this work? Perhaps the words of Jesus resonate: 'Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing onto barns, yet your heavenly father feeds them ... ' This it seems, in the context of our lives, is the most important attitude we can learn. We are not called to demand and to control but to trust and respond, to await, to receive and to use the gifts of God that are ours in abundance. We are asked to love ourselves, others and life in the way that shares among us all creation so that we become one with it. The gifts of the earth are sufficient and are to be shared, not greedily consumed for self interest and material wealth. We are asked to live in God's Kingdom, in the here and now. We are invited to live in Love that gives and receives completely in all and for all. We are called to live in the empty House of Wisdom.

Pause for reflection:

Closing Music:
The Moola Mantra:
Incantation (track 5)

Copyright © 2009 Wilfried Joye. All Rights Reserved.

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