WelCom May 2021
I like May.
My mother died on 9th of May.
I am lucky to live under the korowai of Mary here at Pukekaraka.
We also have a painting here by Julia Lynch (Sr Mary Lawrence) titled ‘Jesus and Mary’ [see photo]. It gives insights to the nature of Mary.
Mary the teenager holding her baby (Hine); the young woman in Māori cloak (Te Whaea).
That calls to mind the song, Ka Waiata ki a Maria [Let’s sing to Mary].1 There Mary is described as a ‘transparent person of integrity’ (purotu); a ‘heart-warming person’ (ngākau); a ‘person who brings peace’ (rangimārie).
It also talks of her as ‘whare tangata’. That is a woman who provides a womb for humankind, and in her case, for Jesus to be born as human among us.
In that description of women, we have a basis for respect for all women. They are our lifeblood.
Māori emphasise this value when a woman dies by saying, ‘Kua haea te takere o te waka’, ‘the bottom of the canoe has been destroyed’.
The painting has Mary standing on the earth with the moon around her head (like a cosmic halo) and the Southern Cross and stars behind.2
So this is Te Whaea o te Ao, Mother of the World, Mother of Earth, Mother of the Cosmos.
Here is a basis for care of Earth, for healing and ensuring healthy life from beginning to end.3 The painting in fact includes the Alpha and Omega symbols on Mary’s piupiu (skirt), the beginning and the end.4
E Maria, whakatata mai ki a mātou, ā, tata rawa ki ngā whaea, ngā Māmā mō tēnei mārama…kia rohaina ai mātou e koe.
Mary, come close to us, especially close to all women and Mothers in this month of May…so that you surround us with love and life.
Pā Phil Cody SM, Whanau Maria – Marist Community, Pukekaraka Mission House, Ōtaki.
1. Rīhari Puanaki.
2. An artistic variation of the Scripture source (Rev 12:1), which has the woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon with a crown of twelve stars on her head.
3. Further developed in Healy, Peter SM Marian Integral Ecology, Ōtaki Print 2021 based on Kivi, Donato SM doctoral thesis ‘Towards a Marian Ecological Spirituality for the Formation and Re-evangelisation of the vanua: the people of the land of Fiji’, Rome 2018.
4. Rev 21:6.