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This post is really awesome and very helpful for me thank you for sharing this article and good job mate.

Modern rhetoric has impoverished our ability to see truths in poetry. The ancient ways were better ways in this at least. From GKC:

"To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits."

Darlene, I'm sorry but your premise is based on an unfortunate grammatical ambiguity. The prayer identifies God as "the only Lover of Mankind."

Which He is, of course, as "mankind" can be loved only by God: the rest of Creation -- i.e., angels, the Theotokos and other Christians and people -- can only love individuals or groups of individuals. But certainly not all mankind.

Only God saves from sin and death, and calls mankind to theosis.

But in a smaller way, the Theotokos saves us when we call upon her contemporaneously in liturgy to pray for us.

This should not be a hard thing to accept. We save each other, frequently, when we pray and forgive and extend love.

The Theotokos does not do anything that any other human being cannot potentially do. We are all called to the theosis exemplified by the Theotokos.

Except for the fact that she is the only one who incarnationally bore God Himself, and thus has a maternal bond that is exclusive to her.

A bond out of which she has taught us to pray, to be humble, and to love.

Father, I have come to love and honor the blessed Theotokos in a way I never would have thought possible as a Protestant. However, I cannot pray this prayer in its entirety. I would have to edit it since I consider parts of it to be superfluous.

"Only" hope of the hopeless? If I say to my husband, you are the "only" man that I love, the "only" one I want to be married to - it is understood that there are NO others. The Theotokos is not the "only" hope of the hopeless - Christ our God exceeds her, nailing our sins to the cross and thus making our hope sure and certain.

The "only" lover of mankind? How can this be? Surely the Holy Trinity has loved mankind with a devotion and commitment that exceeds the Mother of God. The Heavenly Father sent his Son into the world out of His love for mankind. Jesus Christ took on flesh, lived a sinless life, died for the sins of the world, defeated the devil in Hades, and rose again out of love for mankind. The Holy Spirit now intercedes on our behalf, He convicts the world of sin, He is our Counselor and the Spirit of Truth - all this is done out of love for mankind.

Ah, but you might say, "that is your Protestant baggage of which you must shed." But I think there are some things I must not ever shed. This is one of them.

Forgive me, Father, if I offend. It is not my intention. I have struggled with these kind of Orthodox prayers regarding Mary from the beginning. So, I must edit in order that God be glorified.

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