El Lenguaje del Corazón y Amistad

 

(For the English version of this reflection, please scroll down)

El sábado pasado, vi la película “El Lenguaje del Corazón” (se llama Maríe Huertin en francés) con los frailes del Convento Santo Domingo. Me gustó la película mucho y pienso que contiene muchas lecciones sobre las ideas de amistad y amor.

 

La película es sobre la historia de una niña sorda-ciega francesa, se llama Maríe Huertin. Ella vivió en Francia a finales del siglo XIX y el principio del siglo XX. Maríe había nacido en una granja cerca de Poitiers (una cuidad en el centro-occidental de Francia) en el año 1885. Durante los primeros años de su vida, vivió con su familia. Ella vivía en un mundo sin ruido y sin luz y por esto usualmente tenía mucho temor y era muy difícil vivir con ella. Cuando tenía diez años, sus padres la llevaron al Instituto Notre Dame de Larnay. Al principio, las Hermanas de La Sabiduría no le permitieron asistir a clases en el instituto. Sin embargo, una hermana, Sor Marguerite, habló con la priora del monasterio hasta que acordó aceptar a Maríe. Por lo tanto, Sor Marguerite se convirtió en la profesora de Maríe. El resto de la película se centra en la lucha de Maríe por aprender un método de comunicación. 

 

 

La lucha por enseñarle a Maríe es muy difícil porque ella no sabe la forma en que las personas actúan. Ella no se cepilla el cabello ni se ducha y solamente lleva una camiseta de noche. Sor Marguerite trata de convencerla de que es necesario ducharse, cepillarse y vestirse como las otras niñas. Este proceso es muy lento y requiere de mucha paciencia. Sor Marguerite empieza este proceso con mucha fuerza pero rápidamente se de cuenta de que este método no funciona porque Maríe se cierra. Cuando esto sucede, grita, golpea al que esté cerca y se enrosca en posición fetal. El método con mas éxito para Sor Marguerite es mostrarle a Maríe algo tocándoles su manos y su cara. Una vez que Sor Marguerite aprendió esta lección, una amistad de confianza empezó a surgir.  

 

Esta amistad es la base para toda el aprendizaje que ocurrirá durante la película. Maríe aprende las señales para comunicarse y aprende a leer en Braille. Ella viste como las otras niñas, come con ellas y habla con ellas. Cuando sus padres la visitan, ellos no la reconocen porque es muy bonita y amable. Ella se emociona al verlos y los habla mucho sobre su vida nueva en el monasterio.

 

 El próximo reto para Sor Marguerite y Maríe es que Maríe desarrolle la confianza en las otras hermanas. Esto se hace claro cuando Sor Marguerite está enferma y no puede hablar con Maríe. Maríe ha vuelto a ser la misma y empieza a golpear a las otras hermanas, grita mucho y se enrosca en la posición fetal. Después de esta situación, Sor Marguerite y Maríe hablan y Maríe empieza a abrirse a las otras hermanas. También, se da cuenta de que Sor Marguerite tiene tuberculosis y morirá pronto. Marguerite le enseña a Maríe sobre Dios y su amor y empieza a confiar y a creer en Dios. 

 

Así que ¿qué podemos aprender sobre la amistad de esta película ? Sor Marguerite y Maríe nos enseñan la importancia de la amistad para desarrollarse como un persona. Sin esta amistad, Maríe no podría salir de ella y vivir su vida plena. Sin Sor Marguerite y sus retos, Maríe no podría crecer como persona. Al final de la película, Maríe está sentada en frente de la lápida mortuoria de Sor Marguerite y habla con ella, le dice que hay nuevas niñas sorda-ciegas y ella les ensaña a comunicarse y cómo vive la vida plena. Ella continúa y le dice que sin su ayuda, no podría ayudarlas. 


 

Es lo mismo para todo el mundo. El poder de la amistad ayudanos en el proceso de crecer y vivir la vida llena y también tratar de vivir la vida moral . La amistad nos ayuda cuando estamos tristes, nos sentimos solos o no queremos hacer las cosas que necesitamos.

 

La amistad no es fácil; requiere paciencia, compasión y misericordia. Había muchos momentos que Sor Marguerite estaba muy enojada con Maríe, pero la perdonaba. Es lo mismo para nosotros; necesitamos perdonar a otros y motivarlos a vivir una vida cristiana. Hay un dicho, “Muéstrame a tus amigos y te diré quién eres”. ¡Es verdad! Sor Marguerite y Maríe nos muestran el resultado de desafiar a otros a crecer en la fe y a esforzarse por ser la mejor persona que uno puede ser.  

 

ENGLISH VERSION

        A few weeks back during a community bonding night for all the student brothers who live in the Convent of St. Dominic, we walked the French language film, "Marie Huertin," (we watched it with Spanish subtitles).  I enjoyed the movie a great deal and thought that it did a good job illustrating both the importance of friendship and how to be a good friend.

 

      The movie is based on a true story, and is set in a village outside of Poitiers, France, at the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century.  The story follows Marie, who is both deaf and blind, and her struggles to learn to live in the world.  Marie was born in 1885, and lived the first years of her life at home with her parents.  Since she was unable to communicate with the world or understand it, she quickly progressed into a wild child.  She finally became so unmanageable that her parents in 1895, brought her to the Institute of Notre Dame of Larmay, which specialized in working with deaf girls.  The parents hoped that the Sisters of Wisdom, who ran the school, could help Marie.  Initially, the Sisters said that they could not work with Marie because of her wild and erratic behavior.  However, a sister named Marguerite was convinced that the Sisters could work with Marie and could help her learn to communicate with the world.  Sr. Marguerite was then able to persuade Mother Superior, after much pleading,  to permit Marie to attend the school.  The rest of the movie then focuses on the evolving relationship between Sr. Marguerite and Marie.

 

     Sr. Marguerite has her work cut out for her in working with Marie, for Marie does not bathe, comb her hair nor change her clothes.  In fact, when Marie comes to the school, she is wearing a filthy night shirt that appears to have not been washed in many days.   After several days of struggling with Marie, Sr. Marguerite is able to convince her to bath, and to allow her to braid her hair.  Sr. Marguerite quickly learns that if she is to convince Marie to do anything, she has to approach her slowly and patiently; Marie is eager to learn and to please, but she needs to understand what she needs to do by means of touching the objects with her hands and face.  If she is not patient, Marie will become scared or frustrated, which means that she she immediately retreats into herself and begins to scream and hit anyone within her reach.  After this violent thrashing, Marie then curls up into the fetal position, and is unreachable for a great deal of time.  Sr. Marguerite learns to recognize this behavior pattern and to help Marie deescalate.  This in turn, begins a strong bond of friendship that is crucial for Marie's human development.

 

     This is a key idea for the movie; that a relationship is key for any progress to be made.  Before Marie learned to trust Sr. Marguerite, she refused to learn anything.  However, once this trust was established, she quickly learns to communicate via sign language and begins to eat and talk with the other girls who attend the Institute.  Soon after this, Marie's parents are able to visit for the first time, and are shocked at who their daughter had become!  Marie had developed in a well behaved and beautiful young lady.  She is able talk with her parents through the help of Sr. Marguerite and is able to tell them for the first time how much she loves them. This is a very powerful in the movie and it is interesting to compare the reactions of Marie, her parents and her teacher; all parties are deeply moved by the encounter.

 

       Despite the great progress that Marie is making, there is still one big challenge ahead of her; to learn to trust others besides her teacher.  This problem quickly surfaces when Sr. Marguerite becomes ill and has to leave for awhile.  Marie once again retreats back into herself; refusing to talk with anyone, to eat, to bathe or to do anything.  After her return, Sr. Marguerite has a moving conversation with Marie about death, heaven and the fact that she will not be around for much longer.  The viewer later discovers that Sr. Marguerite has tuberculosis and will indeed die soon.  Through this conversation, Sr. Marguerite teaches Marie about God and the importance of trusting Him.  As well, she is able to convince Marie that all the Sisters are there to help her and that she needs to allow them to do so.

 

     So how does this relate to each and everyone of us? We, like Marie cannot survive without the help of our friends. We need to learn to trust people, and to allow them to help us, in order to survive in this world.  It is through our relationships that we are challenged to grow as humans: emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually.  It is our friends who have the power to challenge us to grow deeper in our relationship with God and to challenge us to give up bad habits, change our attitude and to make smarter decisions.  

 

     After Sr. Marguerite's death, there is a touching scene in which the true power of her legacy is truly shown. Marie brings some flowers to Sr. Marguerite's grave and tells her how much she misses her.  However, despite this sadness, Marie has learned to trust and love the other sisters as well as God.  Marie continues on to tell Sr. Marguerite about how hard she is working on her lessons and that she has begun to mentor two other girls who are also both blind and deaf.  However, in Marie's eye, she is not the real mentor for these girls, rather Sr. Marguerite is, since she is the one that taught Marie how to live.

 

       In many ways, the same is true for allow of us; it is our relationships with God and our friends and family members that allow us to truly become the best version of ourselves. We need these key people to challenge us; to stop being a jerk, to work harder, to support us in our good and bad times. 

 

     Sr. Marguerite clearly shows that friendship is not easy; it requires patience, love, mercy and a willingness to forgive.  More than once Sr. Marguerite became angry at Marie, quite angry in fact,  but she was always willing to forgive.

 

     This is the challenge for us as well- are willing to forgive others?  Who is it that we need to forgive?  As well, who do we need to reach out to and to help?