But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people. (Psalm 22:6)
One day, a young man engaged me in a philosophical discussion. At that time, he was having some drug addiction issues and spiraling down to despair hanging on to our friendship. He enlisted in the New Age movement through Luciferianism. He rationalized the practicality of occultism. He based his ideology on the principles of personal progress and independence.
Luciferianism does not consider Lucifer as the devil. They deem Lucifer as an angel of light. Lucifer will help them attain the ultimate goal of enlightenment, putting the power on themselves and their free will. They regard Lucifer as an underdog, thrown out of heaven unjustly. Declaring that Lucifer, the fallen angel, is not their deity, they explain that Lucifer is not really a person but a spirit. Their views vary from one sect to another, attracting many young adults.
The young man refuse to even accept a demonic element to this paradigm , though every point of his argument affirms a diabolical lie. Relishing on his new-found knowledge, his line of reasoning disturbed me. I realized that we were just going around in circles. Each time I debunk his research with love, he flaunts his superfluous ideas against the Catholic Faith with a mindset that seems to justify his current undertakings. Yet, he claims he is still Catholic.
To end our conversation, I quoted the Psalms, “I am just but a worm, a reproach of men, despised by the people”. Confused by this remark, he typed in our chat box in uppercase letters, “YOU ARE NOT A WORM!” And, I replied, “I am a worm.” This time, it felt like I really know nothing and I do not want to know more. It does not matter to me whether I win the argument. I hit a dead-end effort to win him back. The argumentative spirit hides the spirit of pride.
The battle cannot be won in the head but also in the heart. Pride sticks with reasons, love stays grounded within the heart.
St. Benedict says, “The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his tongue he declareth, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: “But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people” (Ps 21:7).
The Worm is our Lord Jesus Christ. He humbled and hid Himself in our human nature. He became like a worm – helpless, unnoticed, and despised by the strong. He allowed Himself to be crushed to the ground and scorned. Rejected and abandoned, His lifeless body laid still in the arms of the Blessed Mother and few of His disciples.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was treated like a worm. Thus, when you say this verse of the Psalms, it is using the word of God as a powerful weapon to defeat Satan. It was through, what seemed like the weakness of Christ, that is, the passion, crucifixion and death of Christ, played out to be the strength and our salvation.
If I am just a worm, then I can be bait of the fisherman. If I am the bait, the fisherman can catch more fish. The worm, the lure in the fishing rod. hides the hook to capture the fish. In our humility, we become the bait to attract sinners to God, the Ultimate Hook.
Following is a great prayer for pride.
Litany of Humility (by an author that refuses to be acknowledged.)
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved… From the desire of being extolled … From the desire of being honored … From the desire of being praised … From the desire of being preferred to others… From the desire of being consulted … From the desire of being approved … From the fear of being humiliated … From the fear of being despised… From the fear of suffering rebukes … From the fear of being calumniated … From the fear of being forgotten … From the fear of being ridiculed … From the fear of being wronged … From the fear of being suspected …
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I … That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease … That others may be chosen and I set aside … That others may be praised and I unnoticed … That others may be preferred to me in everything… That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…