Meditation 8: Listening to Wisdom

Meditation 8: Listening to Wisdom

The Rev’d Patricia Courtenay (Priest – Aboriginal)

Preamble Patricia belongs to the Birri (near Townsville) and Gurang Gurang (near Bundaberg) nations, and also has English, Irish and French ancestry.  She has over 25 years professional experiences in the human services, in community, government, education and religious organisations.  Her qualifications include a B.A.(CQU), GCTheol.(BCT), GCResMeth(SocSc) and MSocAdmin (UQ). This year Patricia is completing her Master of Theological Studies degree involving a research project titled, ‘An analysis of recent approaches to Indigenous Australian Religious epistemologies’.
Copyright and Artist: Richard P. Campbell 2001
Station 13, The Aboriginal Stations of the Cross
Bible reading

Wisdom in Creation

Proverbs 8:22-36

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.  When there was no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.  Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth – when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.  When he establish the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race

‘And now, my children, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.  Happy is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord; but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.’

Music Aboriginal Music Didgeridoo Dreaming “The Spirit of ULURU”
Focus exercises play Music softly ending with silence Sit comfortably, close your eyes and visualize yourself at your ‘sacred place’ within Mother Nature.This could be sitting under a large shadily gum tree in the lavishly bottle green bush, or sitting on the golden sand of a beach beside a crystal blue sea, or sitting beside a free flowing creek, or sitting in the shade within the red sandy desert or sitting on a huge rock overlooking the beautiful landscape of hills.Listening to the music, Listening to the sound of the birds, Listening to the sound of the water, Listening to the sound of the wind, Listening to the sound of silence, Listening to the silence within you, Listening to the voice of Wisdom, Listening to voice of the Holy Spirit. Miriam Rose Ungunmerr calls this ‘Dadirri’ deep listening and quiet stillness.
Silence 5 minutes
Personal story My calling to the Priesthood came out of the bush in the form of a huge Kangaroo on my Grandmothers country, Gurang Gurang. This land has been a part of my maternal line since time began; I belong to this land, this sacred place.  This is the same place where my great Grandmother, Emma Deshong was brought into Christianity in infancy by the Mary MacKillop nuns.  This is the creation place of my spiritual nurturance; past, present and future. My calling was a statement ‘Why don’t you become a Priest’. My journey towards ordination took 12 years; I was ordained as a Priest, near my Grandfathers country, Birri, in 2008.  This journey has been a painful and difficult learning about my place, as an Aboriginal Christian woman within the church, a very cold place indeed.  Yet I have found that both my spirituality and my humanity have deepened and matured; with this my spiritual leadership has been recognised by some and not by others.  I am reminded of the passage from The Letter of James 1:2-4 “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.’  I know now that my faith journey is one of endurance waiting for the church to embrace the spirituality of this land and its culture.  This faith journey has been borne out of my baptism, ‘Live as a disciple of Christ, fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith’.
Silence 3 minutes
Music Aboriginal Music Didgeridoo Dreaming “The Spirit of ULURU”
Guided reflection with Music playing softly We all have some experience of hurt within our lives; how we respond to this hurt is significant, how we learn through these experiences is our tears of learning, out of this learning we hear the voice of Wisdom. Reflect upon your faith journey.


Identify the joys and sorrows within your journey.


Identify a learning experience where you have heard the voice of Wisdom.

Prayer adapted from Rev. Dr. Jonathan Inkpin‘Your Reconciling Arms’ Creator Spirit, of holy dreaming,through your breath of life you bring creation into being.You shape the myriad forms and features of this land,

and form its rainbow of many colours, cultures and peoples.

Through your redeeming love you give us peace in

Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.

You reconcile us together in one body by the Cross,

giving us grace for our journey of healing.

Through your Holy Spirit you enable us to grow and

flourish in your service,

You bring forth fruits of love and grains of joy.

In this journey of faith,

help us we pray, to prune back all which brings destruction,

And to turn to your renewing springs:

that we may seek you in all we meet, and cultivate a culture of peace.

Creator God, of holy journeying,

you travel with us through darkness and despair.

Hear our prayer for your children, here and elsewhere,

caught up in the violence of this world.

Breathe your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, and open

our hearts to your presence,

and journey onward in the freedom of your love.

Encircle us with your peace,

enfold us in your reconciling arms,

and enlarge the circles of our love.


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