The Saint of Cabora

Pain is as inevitable for a King as it is for a peasant. Suffering is optional. 

Pain and Faith:

I recently read a book called, "The Hummingbird's Daughter," by Mexican-American novelist, Luis Alberto Urrea. I thought I was reading an inspiring, coming-of-age-tale, where the protagonist is rewarded for making it to the finish line. However, I got something a bit different. While the story was hugely inspiring, the inspiration came from a very real and raw place. A primary lesson presented in the novel, is that pain happens to us all. And, what gets us through the pain and the challenges, is the loving faith that connects us to our life's purpose. 

The book is based on actual people and historical events. It is about the bastard daughter of a wealthy Mexican rancher and an indian woman. The daughter's name is Teresita Urrea, and she becomes a remarkable healer. I'd like to highlight the fact that Teresita's healing abilities didn't come fully developed. She had to learn how to harness her powers, by training with the greatest healers in her area.

Over time, Teresita's healing powers grew, and the denizens of Mexico hailed her as "The Saint of Cabora." What made her skills so fascinating was her ability to touch and heal many people with previously untreatable ailments. 

Although Teresita was seemingly "touched by God," she goes through tremendous trials and tribulations. Some of these tribulations were so soul shattering, that they left the reader unsure of how Teresita would survive. Not even a woman who was "touched by God," could escape the pain of being a human. 

Teresita was aware of rising dangers during a tumultuous time in Mexican history, and decided to continue with her life's mission. During this era, there were many warring sides: the indians, mestizos, ranchers, bandits, and government officials. All parties with different belief systems, and the process of unify the differing ideologies was a bloody one. 

Every time it seemed like Teresita's life had run its course, a door opened up where none previously existed. I believe that the things that kept her going, were her faith in God, and her strong desire to heal others. She knew what she wanted in her life, and she had faith that God would support her in her mission.  

I won't go further into the plot to give you the opportunity to experience the novel for yourself.  

Your Turn:

While there are many intricacies in "The Hummingbird's Daughter," the concepts of pain and faith are the most interesting. Pain becomes suffering when we live in it for too long. And, having a clear mission in life gave our heroine a path out of her pain. 

In the same way (as the story), life isn't always this harmonious story of growth. It gets messy. And, it hurts. Knowing that you will be tasked with many challenges along the way, it is important to find where your faith lies: it could be in God, The Universe, science, yourself, a combination of these, or something entirely different. 

Whatever it is, I'd like you to consider these questions: 

  • What is your purpose?
  • What is your mission on Earth?
  • What would you like to accomplish during your time?
  • What would you like to experience? 
  • What does your heart yearn to do?
  • What is your personal contribution to this experience called life?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
  • How do you make the world a better place?

Remember: There are no right or wrong answers. Go with whatever feels right for you. 

Knowing your WHY will give you the courage to face whatever you encounter along your journey. And, that is something truly worth living for! 

Amor y Canela,

Monica