Sunday, March 14, 2010

Choking on the worm

When I was young I had a friend who drank half a bottle of tequila and then ate the worm at the bottom. Yours truly was pretty disgusted by this. I was gagging as I watched. One- I don't like tequila. Two- worms gross me out. My friend was so sick she vomited and vomited. When she went home [don't worry, we didn't let her drive] she thought the car mat was her pocketbook and brought it in the house with her. We let her...she insisted that it was her purse and no one felt like disabusing her of this notion. I admit we snickered a bit over this.

I think back to those times and realize that each and every one of us was choking on the worm. My friends and I all came from dysfunctional households and every single one of us was choking on the worm of bitterness and unforgiveness. None of us were big troublemakers, but our hearts were hard as rocks. Mine certainly was. I was filled with bitterness and anger. I used to be flat out belligerent with the Lord.  "You've allowed this world to become a pretty rotten place to live, how are we supposed to be good surrounded by such evil?! How come you haven't stepped in to change things on this earth? Everywhere I look there's evil. They had it easy in the old days!" The Lord never answered me back then, I never gave Him a chance. I left the Church. I thought the Church was filled with hypocrites.

Once I bit into an apple and there was a worm in it. I was horrified because I had bit a chunk off it before I noticed the other half of the worm. I spit out what was left and threw out the apple. God never threw me out, though, despite the worm in my heart. I hated myself. I was just waiting for the day when God would squish me like a bug. I was afraid of Him. The funny thing is: I would pray my Hail Mary's every night. I loved Mother Mary...always. My mother brought me home a pair of rosary beads from Medjugorje and I slept with them under my pillow. I used them, too. I didn't meditate on the mysteries back then, I just prayed my Hail Mary's over and over. I would have terrible nightmares but they would leave when I started the Hail Mary's.

Right after my conversion I had a vivid dream. In this dream I opened my mouth and a worm started coming out. A strong hand grabbed the worm and pulled, pulled until it was all the way out. It was the longest, ugliest worm I had ever seen. The next day when I woke up my heart felt lighter. Gross but true. I went through my entire life forgiving everyone who had ever harmed me and praying for those I had harmed. I wish I had known when I was young how to bring my hurts to the Lord but no one had ever taught me this. It's important to do this on a daily basis. Bring God your pain immediately and forgive always. Teach your children how to do this. The whole world is dysfunctional in these days. Young people are suffering immensely. It's even worse than when I was young and I didn't think things could possibly get worse than that.

When I started praying the Scriptural  Rosary I was struck when I read:
" But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
  All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: 'You
  relied on the Lord-let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you.' "
I would meditate on Psalm 22 over and over. I still do. Jesus, who was innocent, suffered so much for each and every one of us. He became sin to free us all from the evil that worms it's way into the human heart. We are free because of Him. All we have to do is go to Him.

Today, dear Jesus, I bring you all the young people of the world. I tuck each and every one of them into your Sacred Heart. O Jesus, they are suffering so much! Everywhere they turn they are surrounded by evil. Open the floodgates of Your Mercy upon them. Flood them, O Lord, flood them with Your Mercy. Help us, as parents, to teach them to bring their wounds to you. I thank and Praise You for Your Mercy!


  1. I will certainly never look at worms ... or tequila .. the same way again! And that is a good thing!

  2. Oh Mary I am sorry it was so hard for you as a young person......anger and bitterness are evil. Now you have the softness and kindness of an angel.....God is good.....:-) Hugs

  3. What a vivid and beautiful description of forgiveness...thank you for sharing. It is so hard for our young people these days, but God is ever-present and we must diligently keep them in our prayers. Thanks for a beautiful post.

  4. Mary, this is a GREAT story! I love it! I'm so glad that God has removed the worm from your heart and I pray that He does the same for me!

  5. Michael,
    Well, I still hate tequila and worms, too. And, yeah, it's a good thing :)

  6. Bernie,
    All I can say is:
    It's a good thing people can change! I'm sure Satan was saving me a pretty nasty spot in hell. He's probably mad because it's not going to be filled. Not by me...and with God's grace, not by anyone. Bernie, you are the one with the heart of an angel :) You're right, God is good.

  7. Thanks, Mary :) I think God is pouring special graces on the young people. He must be because - Where sin abounds, His grace abounds all the more. Still, I feel bad for what they have to see in this world. I only dare to put on a couple TV channels in my house until Michaela goes to bed. And the stuff she hears at school...WHOA!

  8. Anne,
    You have a lovely heart...mine was gross :) It's better now but I still need some work! There is no way that you could put out such inspired posts if you didn't have a great heart for the Lord. Maybe you don't see yourself this way, but I can feel how much you love Him when I read your blog :)

  9. I, too, was "choking on the worm" for too many years. Such time wasted... precious time.

    Part of the effect the worm had on me was self-loathing. I read Psalm 139 over and over... and over... until I realized that God knew in advance every sinful, ugly, and evil thing I'd ever do, and that he thought it worthwhile to make me anyway... even though he didn't have to. He felt there was a purpose for my life.

    God believed in me enough to create my life. Ad fortunately, not only did he give me life - God also gave me the grace to let the worm shrivel up and die.

    Thank you for this post.

  10. Sue,
    Me, too. I regret that I wasted time. You make a very good point here. God knows everything and He knows what each of us will do and created us anyway. That's something to think about:) I love that Psalm, it reminds me that He knows me better than I know myself.

  11. Great post and wonderful analogy. I hate worms and it's good Jesus came to take our wormy selves and fix us when we let Him. Another thought - if we think about the worm and get all wrapped up with it we aren't focusing on Christ.

  12. Choked up reading the post and reading the comments also. I never went through an overly wild period, but maybe even worse, I went through an apathetic and worldly period where the Lord was a very nice idea but I was much too busy building a new and secure life (I came from an insecure and dysfunctional home life too). I fancied myself sophisticated and I left the Catholic Church for awhile bc I saw some bad example and thought I saw better in my husband's protestant family. Thank goodness by His love and grace He brought me Home and with more devotion and fervancy than I ever had before! I am every day thankful to Him for His mercy, love and grace. I pray I won't ever become bitter or angry.

  13. Also, I was going to say the fight not to allow bitterness or anger take over my soul has been a difficult struggle of mine over the last five years because of what I've gone through with my husband - the alcohol abuse, the events that go along with that kind of thing, the porn, the affairs. I know Satan wants nothing more than for me to rage but God is my strong tower and I lean heavily upon Him. I'll humbly be thankful for any prayers for me in this area and for my children.

  14. Barb,
    Yes, that's a very good point. It's not good to focus on the "worm" too much. We want our thoughts to be on HIM. I should have written that in my post :)God bless you, Barb!

  15. Lynn,
    Well, I'm glad you managed to sneak by without a wild period :) That's a blessing!
    I'm so glad the Lord is keeping you so close to Him. It would be so easy to become bitter from what you and your children are going through. You are all in my prayers.