Day of Prayer for the Unborn – A Prayer for Life by St. Pope John Paul II
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
-Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life”
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Today, on this 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in the US, is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn. On this day we are asked to offer prayers, fasting, and almsgiving for the intention of an end to abortion.
We can see in the beautiful words of St. John Paul II a perfect example of a prayer of supplication or intercession. We ask our mother Mary to pray to God for our intention, and at the same time, our own prayer today is to God for others.
It’s also an officially recommended (but not obligatory) day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting is a tradition in the Church with a long and deep history, specifically tied to intercessory prayer. We fast in imitation of Jesus himself, who spent forty days in the desert, praying and fasting.
The Catholic Gentleman has a beautiful explanation of Catholic fasting. It’s directed at, well, gentlemen, but it’s just as applicable to us ladies.
Fasting can be more complicated for ladies during our fertile years. I’m currently into my seventeenth year of uninterrupted pregnancy and/or nursing. Sometimes circumstances do allow me to observe traditional fasting practices of one regular meat-free meal during the day, plus two smaller meat-free meals that together don’t add up to the size of the full meal. However, when that’s not possible, I can fast for the day instead from sweets and salty snacks, or from TV and social media. The point of the exercise is that all day long, as we reach out for a snack or a stroll through our Instagram feeds, our thoughts are directed instead to God and to the intention of our fast.
Why not give fasting a try today? Even if you’re getting a late start! Half a fast is better than no fast at all.
Let Us Pray
O Lord, we ask you to accept our prayers and suffering for the intention of an end to abortion. We pray for healing for all those who have been hurt in body and soul by the tragedy of abortion. Amen.
For Your Inspiration
Each week, we will have a special download for each form of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (ACTS). Download this week’s printable below.
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Kendra Tierney is currently writing a book, fixing up a tumbledown hundred year old house, and just welcomed baby number nine. In her free time, she carpools, homeschools, and feeds the other eight kids. And her husband. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here.