Have you ever heard that joke about the prisoners that have been locked up together so long that they all know each others jokes. So what they do at night before bed is simply call out a number which corresponds to one of the jokes and they all laugh at it. That is a little of what we have here on the RC vs P forum. I believe we all know the issues we have with each other. So now, rather than calling out a number and agreeing to disagree, we look for new ways to present the same old arguments.
This argument is summed up in "P's think RC's are way way to involved with Mary and that some go well into the idolatry zone". You know we think that and we know you know.
In presenting the barage(sp) I try to very quickly make the point that this is not just honor it is worship. As such it is idolatry and is a big problem for your faith and doctrine.
No sale. In fact I'm going to print up that stuff and stash it with my prayer materials.
Formally I would say the difference between worship and veneration, honor, whatever is not one of degree but of kind. And I'll grant you the APPARENT excessiveness of the language. It took me a while before I could call Mary, "vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra," without wanting to add in a kind of precatory legalese,"... always provided that the above language is not intended or understood to be intended to present to Mary any honorific or any other appellation (or Appalachian or any other massif) or sentiment not otherwise understood as pertaining to the Most Holy Trinity hereinafter referred to as the party of the first part or maybe first three parts, depending on whether we're counting persons or substances.......)
Here, let me hand you a knife to stab me with: On the one hand, over here: Jesus is my savior. He is the perfect revelation of God, and in Him, who is God's Word, that Word finds the fruitfulness of which Isaiah spoke.[and so on and so forth for pages and pages.] Yet, on the other hand I have said,"Mary saved my butt." I just said it a couple of nights ago at our RCIA anticipatory Christmas party (held now because most of the RCIA gang are university students and they have exams and then vacation and we won't see 'em again until January.)
Now, so to speak, schematically I want to avoid saying that Mary mediates in an strict sense between me and Jesus, because IHS is THE mediator, and any instance of true mediation happens by Him, with Him, through Him and so forth through preposition after preposition. He is the entirely sufficient Mediator, no other need apply.
Somewhere C.S.Lewis points out that in a way a photograph is more "like" its subject than an oil painting. And we might say that a portrait artist painting in oils "captures" his subject and portrays the truth of the subject more richly and completely than a photograph does or could do.
And yet no one, I think, would mistake the portrait for its subject. So my friends, teachers, and counselors have presented to me some of the reality of who IHS is, and in their doing so, IHS Himself was using them as adjuncts to and agents of his mediatory activity.
I am grateful to these people. I love them. (And the ones I'm thinking of are all Protestants, btw.) But I know they aren't God, however much I may sometimes gush about them. And I don't hesitate to say that they brought me to Christ or brought me closer to Christ.
Now if I had to say that every time I engaged in a Marian devotion, id be even further behind on my household chores than I currently am. So I just work and pray in confidence that God knows what I mean, and that my Protestant brothers will occasionally tolerate me even if they bridle at my lengthy attempts to explain.
as always, seeking more to explain or describe than to persuade.