Reflection for Today

Reflection for Today

from Saint Silouan (1866-1938), Orthodox monk

If you want to pray with the mind in the heart and do not manage to do so, say your prayer with your lips and fix your mind on the words of the prayer, as is said in the Ladder of Perfection [of St John Climacus]. With time the Lord will give you undistracted “prayer of the heart” and you will pray with ease. Certain people, during the work of prayer, after forcing their intellect to descend into their heart, have sunk to such an extent that they cannot even articulate the prayer with their lips. But as for you, understand the law of the spiritual life: its gifts are granted only to simple, humble, obedient souls. The Lord will give prayer to anyone who is obedient and restrained in everything—in food, words, movements—and it will be accomplished with ease in his heart.


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  • We switched our Little Cherub a few weeks ago to a chair with an adjustable seat and footrest, and she loves being able to sit at the table with us. I think it may even have led to an improvement in her table manners (at least until she decides she has had enough and tips the plate over). She still prefers fingers to spoon, though she can use the spoon adequately if she has a mind to. She also likes experimenting with a fork, but tends to prefer picking up the food and then trying to stick it onto the fork! Once they get the idea, forks are good as you can wave it around and the food stays put.

  • I haven’t been brave enough to try her with a fork yet. I wanted her to get to at least a minimum of coordination with the spoon before I did so because I’ve been afraid of her jabbing herself with the fork. Maybe I should try it, though. You make a good point about the food not being able to fly off.

  • Plastic forks. Dixie makes some designed for kids, with rounded tines in primary colors with animal handles. They’re with the other ones in the stores, in a clear cylinder.
    For the frugal—they wash really well, too.

    As far as actually using them, Rachel at 3 still eats spaghetti by the fistful. We’re working on that.

  • Thanks, Heather. I’ll check them out. And while it’s not good to always be comparing you child to everyone else’s, it is sometimes helpful to know where other kids are and to remember that there’s a spectrum of development.

  • We have a little fork that came with a baby cutlery set – plastic handle, with short, blunt metal tines. I don’t think she could do any real damage with it. We had a plastic one but it was so blunt it wasn’t much use.