|Grace is light, I guess|
“Here the scholastics have concocted various dreams about dulia, latria, and hyperdulia. With one and the same word the Hebrew denotes service toward God and toward men, so that their distinction is useless. But Moses wants to say this: “Serve Him alone. That is, whatever you do, and whether you live under the bondage of men or as a manager of affairs, refer it to Me, and do it in no other name than that you are sure in faith that I alone am served in this.”
Dr. Luther gives us some vocab to work on.
LATRIA -- This is the highest form of worship, reserved for God alone.
DULIA -- This is a lower level of veneration, offered to angels and saints.
HYPERDULIA -- This is an intermediate level of worship, reserved for the human form of Jesus and his mother, Mary. Mary is considered the perfection of humanity, a person born without original sin, and therefore deserving of some higher type of veneration than Peter, Paul, John, James, and the other saints.
I think I mentioned somewhere that there are forty-six calendar days which are designated as feasts dedicated to the BVM, globally or locally. In addition, six moveable feasts are dedicated to her, and nine of the fixed feasts celebrate two or more different aspects of her. For example, today is both the Feast of the Visitation (when pregnant young Mary visited her cousin, pregnant old Elizabeth) and Feast of the Mediatrix of All Graces.
Okay, maybe MEDIATRIX is also a word that should be defined, though you probably figured it out for your self.
The stem word MEDIA (plural of the word MEDIUM) is a Latin word that refers to something in the middle, especially if it intervenes or provides a conduit. In the nineteenth century, one could have gone to a person called a medium who would let a spirit speak through him/her to someone else. I suppose you could still find such media in the twenty-first century, though mostly we use the term to talk about journalists in print, broadcast, and internet.
|Mediatrix of All Graces, et filius|
All Graces is an odd term. It could refer to the Grace which is offered to each sinner, but Grace in that sense is usually collectivized rather than particularized. It could also refer to other graces than the redemption, e.g. fortitude in times of trial, comfort in times of loss, faith in times of doubt, guidance in times of peril.
The saints may be able to approach God on our behalf, or perhaps they are just exemplars of virtues to which we must remember to aspire. The angels are creatures of God who, like humans, have some role to play in God's mysterious purpose. Both saints and angels may merit dulia, but only if we can keep the distinction between dulia and latria clear in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts. If it becomes blurry, we must limit ourselves to latria or stand in peril of God's warning to Moses. If we are to assume that the BVM has a role in the distribution of Grace, that elevates her a level from the saints, and therefore would merit hyperdulia. The levels are perilous, as one might easily slide into a polytheistic practice, but if clarity can be retained, they may satisfy the needs of some of the faithful.