The demands on the lives of couples who practice natural family planning can seem very overwhelming at times. Every Catholic couple who is serious enough about their love for our Lord to follow the Church’s teaching on contraception understands this intimately. The roller coaster ride that NFP can be for some couples can create stress, worry, obsessiveness, and a myriad of other negative emotions.
But it’s important for us to find ways to shift our focus from the stress that being open to life may be causing us to the beauty of what being open to life actually means. Sometimes we need to take time out from all of the stress and allow ourselves to just rest in the peace and calm that can only truly be obtained by giving ourselves over completely to our Lord.
This beautiful prayer can do just that for us. Giving ourselves over completely to our Lord can be perfectly summed up in the life of Mary so turning our focus to her can help us do the same. Pray this Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Life when you feel overwhelmed by NFP, being open to life, married life…when you feel overwhelmed by anything and everything.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Life
The Response is: Mary, pray for us.
Mary, Mother of all Life,
help us to respect human life from the moment of conception
to the moment of natural death. R.
Mary, Mother of Compassion,
You showed us how valuable a single life can be;
Help us to guard and protect the lives of all people entrusted to our care. R.
Mary, Mother of the Child Jesus,
with St. Joseph you formed the Holy Family.
Guard and protect all families in this earthly life; R.
Mary, Mother Most Holy,
You sanctified the vocation of motherhood;
Pour out your heavenly aid on all mothers and help them to be holy. R.
Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
Simeon’s prophecy foretold that a sword of suffering would pierce your heart;
Bring comfort and hope to all mothers who suffer over their children. R.
Mary, Full of Grace,
You had a choice in responding to God’s call;
Help us always to say “Yes” to the will of God in our lives,
And strive always to do whatever he tells us. R.
Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted,
Pour forth your heavenly grace on all who are in need of God’s healing,
Especially those involved in abortion;
Help them to experience the love and mercy of Christ, your Son. R.
Mary, Intercessor and Advocate,
We lift up the poor, the displaced, the marginalized and vulnerable members of society;
Help them to never abandon hope, but to place their trust in the God who gave them life. R.
Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, you bore in your womb him whom the heavens cannot contain;
Help us to bear witness to Christ by the example of our lives
And show the world the extravagant love of God. R.
Remember, o most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer them. Amen.
If you’re anything like me, simply reading through the beautiful prayer is enough to slow your heart rate and calm your racing mind. The beauty of focusing on the life of our Mother Mary, who gave us the greatest example of being open to life, is a powerful thing for those couples who choose not to contracept.
The beautiful words in this prayer help us to appreciate further, life, and even more importantly, the life of Jesus Christ. It helps us to shift our focus from ourselves and the stress we may be feeling from NFP to the point of it all…being just like Mary by saying yes to God.