Orobator’s Jesuit background means that Mariology features in his Theology brewed in an African pot. It’s a fascinating chapter which he ends with a prayer to Mary using some African proverbs about mothers.
I loved how he’s taken the experience of women and used this as a prayer for Africa. If it makes you uncomfortable that it’s a prayer to Mary, you could think about how to pray it to God who is at times described in maternal imagery in the Bible.
Mary, a mother in labour is not ashamed of nudity;
help us to overcome all forms of injustice and abuse of women.
Mary, when a father punishes a child it seeks refuge in its mother’s hut;
draw us closer to the mercy and compassion of your son Jesus.
Mary, a child on its mother’s back does not care if the journey is long;
by your prayers carry all refugees to safety and peace as you carried the infant Jesus to safety in Egypt.
Mary, a child cannot pay for its mother’s milk;
by your prayers may we find constant nourishment for our faith in your son, Jesus.
Mary, a child does not laugh at the ugliness of its mother;
by your prayers may we treat all women and men with respect and dignity.
Mary, a person who has not traveled thinks his or her mother is the best cook;
by your prayers may we free our minds from all forms of tribalism, discrimination, and ethnic violence.
Mary, if a calf sucks greedily, it tears away its mother’s udder;
by your prayers help us to overcome greed and selfishness.
Mary, the earth is the mother of all;
by your prayers help us to use the resources of the earth with prudence and care.
Mary, the mother of a great person has no horns;
by the example of your life may we grow in humility and selfless service to all women and men.
Mary, we are born from the womb of our mothers, we are buried in the womb of the earth;
by your prayers may we know the joy of a peaceful death and come to the eternal happiness of heaven together with our ancestors in faith.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.