Our Spiritual Genius is a Reflection of Our Own Deepest Wound

Today I would like to share with you a guest post from Michael Petrow. Michael is a student of Origen, a spiritual director, and a scholar of early Christian mysticism and depth psychology. He currently lives in New Mexico where he works with The Center for Action and Contemplation as well as The Guild for Spiritual Guidance.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did!

Are our wounds sources of greater healing for ourselves and others? 

One Origenal idea that I LOVE—maybe my favorite—is the notion of the “health bestowing wound”. This notion, quite simply, is that we are each wounded in life, but for some of us, our greatest wound ends up becoming the very means of our salvation, that which brings out the best in us. Have you experienced that? 

As a deeply wounded person myself, I read this in a very particular way, which is very dear to me. More to the point Origen suggests that for each of us, our own unique wounding in life shapes our particular individual spiritual genius. Likewise our spiritual genius is a reflection of our own deepest wound: 

It beseems God to strike such souls with such a wound as this . . . and smite them with such health bestowing wounds . . . And the soul who is aflame with longing for God’s wisdom… can say ‘I have been wounded by wisdom.’ And another soul beholding the beauty of his might and marveling at the power of the Word of God, can say: “I have been wounded by Might’… And yet another soul . . . contemplating the justice of the dispensations of his providence, says surely “I have been wounded by Justice. And another beholding the vastness of His goodness and loving-kindness speaks in the same manner. (Song 199) 

 All of us have different entry points to the divine, different ways of understanding, and a unique insight to offer the world… because all of us have been wounded in different ways. 

What do you think of this notion? What is your primary wound in life? What is your primary insight? Can you see how they are related? Whether God wounds us or God uses our wounds, in Origen’s vision every wound is transformed into genius, and ultimately they ALL lead to the great “wound of love.” How does this help you think about the wounds you are carrying now?

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