Question: Pope John Paul II 1995 prayer
As some may know, I am currently exploring the Catholic Church, reevaluating it after being away for some 27 years as a Protestant. So this post is not meant as an attack but rather as a sincere question.
I went to a mass yesterday at a local church. I liked the mass a lot, and I especially feel drawn to Catholic worship at the mass. Unlike so much of what goes on in many evangelical churches today, the worship is very solemn, shows a very high regard for Christ, and focuses on God.
Unfortunately, I came across something that I, quite frankly, as a Protestant found disturbing. So I am bringing it up here to see if any of you can shed some light on this for me.
I found a small card with this prayer printed on it:
"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. Amen." --Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995
I understand Catholic teaching about asking saints to pray and intercede for us, but when I read this prayer, it seemed like there was more going on than just asking Mary to pray for us; at times she seems to be entreated as if she were deity. The phrases that made me think this are the ones I boldfaced above. Thoughts?