Last night was good. We have six people in the group, all coming back to the Catholic faith for various reasons. I was the most excited, of course. Since we agreed that what we spoke about was confidential, I can't name specifics. But I am very happy to be in a place where it's okay to ask questions and admit you're unsure about the Church's teachings on a specific issue.
I think the issue I most struggle with is the whole thing with Mary. I left the Catholic church when I was 20. I had joined an Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship group in college and one of the leaders challenged me in my faith.
Although I was raised Catholic, I never made a real connection that Jesus Christ truly died for my sins and that it was a personal call to me to admit I was a sinner and ask for His forgiveness that was freely offered. And so I found myself having dinner with the leader one night and afterward, praying the "Sinner's Prayer." A raging fire was lit within my soul that was further flamed by all of the wonderful books I found on the Christian life.
In the midst of the Evangelical training I was receiving, I developed a strong suspicion toward anything that looked like Marian worship. I am still unsure how to reconcile my belief that Mary was not born without sin and was not conceived in some special way.
I do agree that many Protestants don't think of Mary enough. Non-denoms do it even less. I also am believing more in God's holiness being imparted and if He chose Mary as the vessel to carry the Word Made Flesh into the world, wouldn't she be sanctified also in a very unique way?
If anyone who has an understanding of Marian theology is reading this - pray that I somehow get it. I want to "get it" if there is something I'm missing. I'm just not fully seeing the picture at this point.