Daily Word of Grace # 94 (July 24, 2020)

Many consider James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.  It is a brilliant though difficult book for sure, but full of insights into the human condition, like this one: “There are sins or (let us call them as the world calls them) evil memories which are hidden away by man in the darkest places of the heart but they abide there and wait.  He may suffer their memory to grow dim, let them be as though they had not been and all but persuade himself that they were not or at least were otherwise.  Yet a chance word will call them forth suddenly and they will rise up to confront him in the most various circumstances, a vision or a dream, or while timbrel and harp soothe his sense or amid the cool silver tranquility of the evening or at the feast at midnight when he is now filled with wine” (Modern Library edition 421).  Who among us has not experienced that?  Such sins or “evil memories” may involve things we have done or things others did to us—but either way, in spite of all our efforts to reach “closure” and “move on” they remain “in the darkest places of the heart.”  And yet, none of it is beyond the mercy of God, whose “mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  So the next time “a chance word” calls these things forth to confront you, remember that God has already covered it with mercy.

Love and Prayers,