Zeal not according to knowledge?
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Forgive me if I've not chosen the correct category for this post, it was difficult to discern.
I'm an Orthodox Christian, but one who has been very interested in Catholicism all of my life. I'm almost finished with a book by Bernard McGinn on the Doctors of the Church, and it reminded me of something deep in my subconsciousness I believe I remember about St. Alphonsus Liguori.
When I was a young, anti-Catholic teenager, I read at least part of a book by a fundamentalist Protestant or Evangelical who was also very anti-Catholic. In his lugubrious writing, I believe I remember him quoting (or paraphrasing) St. Alphonsus on a concept about the Virgin Mary. He was castigating a passage from St. Alphonsus where the same basically juxtaposes a relationship to Our Lord with a relationship involving lesser men. Such a man may be more amiable towards a request from his mother than to the average person; so (if my memory serves me) he ostensibly suggested approaching the Theotokos precisely so that she, being the Mother of God, will more effectively sway the Lord Jesus.
Being Orthodox, I venerate the Theotokos as being beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, though I am not sold on the Immaculate Conception. I do find it hard to grasp, however, the idea that a doctor ecclesiae would reduce heavenly things so far down to dust, that it almost seems heretical. I remember this idea of approaching Jesus only with morbid fear through Mary as bothering me very much in my youth, and the bother hasn't left me, even in my much greater appreciation of the Blessed Mother.
Any help on both the accuracy of this account of St. Alphonsus's ideas, and if they are accurate, how I could possibly accept this, is greatly and sincerely appreciated.