The Beautiful Wounds
The Beautiful Wounds is a collection of curated stories that are devoted to revealing and appreciating beauty in our everyday lives by exploring and uncovering how beauty “wounds” our hearts and speaks to the deep desires that illuminate the very existence and purpose of the human person.
“Wound” is a verb
“The beautiful wounds…” are the words of Pope Benedict describing what “the beautiful” does to us. Upon hearing a beautiful orchestral piece, something deep moves inside of us. Later, we can describe exactly the “mood” of the piece as if it had confided something in us… and when a piece of music “haunts” us, it has wounded us.
Beauty has a way of tilling the soil of our hearts. Even after we have passed from a beautiful painting, some of the peace or confusion of the piece lingers with us. When we walk away, it can feel as if walking away from a loved one and not having said goodbye. Standing underneath an enormous cathedral can cause our stomachs to drop and make us feel small. In the end, it is noticing our own smallness, not the building’s largeness, that demonstrates beauty.
From Pope Benedict’s desk
‘The beautiful wounds, but this is exactly how it summons man to his final destiny… True knowledge is being struck by the arrow of Beauty that wounds man, moved by reality, “how it is Christ himself who is present and in an ineffable way disposes and forms the souls of men” (cf. ibid.). Being struck and overcome by the beauty of Christ is a more real, more profound knowledge than mere rational deduction. Of course we must not underrate the importance of theological reflection, of exact and precise theological thought; it remains absolutely necessary. But to move from here to disdain or to reject the impact produced by the response of the heart in the encounter with beauty as a true form of knowledge would impoverish us and dry up our faith and our theology. We must rediscover this form of knowledge; it is a pressing need of our time.’ – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s) The Contemplation of Beauty
This beauty that Ratzinger (PP. Benedict) explains in words is something that Saint Teresa of Avila knew through experience. The sculpture is based on her writings related to the extreme ecstasy that she experienced in prayer. St. Teresa described an angel carrying a fire-tipped spear, which pierced her heart repeatedly and sent her into a state of spiritual rapture. She writes,
“The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness it caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease, nor is one’s soul then content with anything but God.” (The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself, Ch. 29).
That’s intense. How do we come to know this kind of Beauty? We believe that through examining and calling out beauty where it is, we will come to see it more frequently and enjoy it more fully. So, the arrows in our logo aren’t just another hip, millennial addition to our blog because we ran out of creative juices late one night. The arrows symbolize Christ’s love piercing our hearts and offer a visual reminder about what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes about: the beautiful wounds.
Keeping it real
We’re young and married with no kids (yet). But we are not here to post about picture-perfect lattes (americanos for David), immaculate date nights, or a copy-and-paste political agenda. We are here to seek out and share Beauty, with all of the complexity of “beauty” point to the other two of the three Transcendentals: Truth and Goodness. We fight, we fail, and above all, we love, and we ask God to continually pour His ever-abundant mercy and grace upon us so that we can love each other better and more selflessly. It’s hard. We’re not perfect. And we’re not about to Instagram a perfect life. As the ancient proverb goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” It’s way easier to Instagram our imperfect lives.
About David and Bridget
We’re married, we’re both ENFJ on the Myers Briggs test, we’re both cholerics and we’re both the oldest in our families… so it goes without saying that God is working overtime in the marital graces department. We’re doing our best to live one day at a time, although our Type A hearts would like to have everything regimented and color-coded in Google calendar, and we’re seeking out God in the little moments of the day as best we can.
By day, David is an engineer for a large 3D printing company and Bridget works at a government health organization. In our free time, we volunteer at church and do life with our lay movement, the Catholic Advance. We enjoy working out, hiking together at state parks, hosting friends for dinners and game nights, hitting the snooze button on our alarm a few too many times (we’re working on it…), cooking/fermenting new weird things, listening to podcasts (check out our favorites), drinking copious amounts of coffee (we’re working on it… off and on) and scoring coupons for Papa Murphy’s pizza.
We also have to give a shout-out to an amazing community in Catholic Advance. The Catholic Advance Movement is a part of the order, Pro Ecclesia Sancta, and the amount of formation and guidance they have offered us so lovingly and selflessly has been such an incredible gift, especially in our first year of marriage. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the videos about who we are as a movement and about the charism of our movement.
This website was a creative endeavor that we’ve daydreamed about and we know that the Holy Spirit placed on our hearts, so we can’t take credit for it. We’re here to share the beautiful that we encounter and to share others’ stories of beauty to inspire all of us to live for more – for the greater glory of God!
Where to next?
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati said: “The higher we go, the better we shall hear the voice of Christ. Verso l’alto!” That’s our family motto and we’re inviting you to join us on the journey to climb the rugged terrains of life together to pursue Christ on the path to our eternal home in Heaven. Our hope & prayer is that you will leave this website ready to adventure on your own to better understand the ways in which beauty wounds you and impacts your own life. St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, Ven. Fulton Sheen, Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. John Paul II, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta & Sts. Peter & Paul, pray for us.
David & Bridget, Co-Founders
© David and Bridget and The Beautiful Wounds, 2015 – 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David and Bridget and The Beautiful Wounds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.