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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

362               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

objects referred to the things necessary for making a sacrament
valid. The separation between group and group seen in concrete
form, and the breaking up and recomposing of each group repeated
many times, all make it easier to understand the facts and to
memorize every detail exactly, whilst reading and placing the cards
ensures the learning of the exact terms. The exercise consists in
setting out the objects of one group (e.g. the sacrament of extreme
unction) and taking the whole of the cards which accompany it,
placing above each object the word which stands for its name.
The Sisters of Notre Dame in Glasgow (Scotland) have made
complete models of such things; among others an altar in minia-
ture, only 12 cms. broad, but showing the details which enter into
it with great fidelity and with exquisite art. The children can
observe it and place on every detail the card bearing the relative
name.

Thus the children, from their tenderest infancy live, one might
say, in the Church; and they acquire almost without being aware
of it a knowledge of religious things—truly far from usual at their
early age.

The habits which the children have already learnt at school
of concentration in work, of silence, of calm in an environment
where children in continual contact with one another have to make
choice of their own actions and adapt their needs to those of others,
predispose them to gain another moral victory of the greatest
importance. It is in silence and when movements are ordered
that the inner sensitivity that is called * religious sense * or
* spiritual sense' can be developed.

In fact, it is only at the age of seven that the need is felt by
the child to distinguish between good and evil. The young child
does not have these problems: he accepts everything and believes,
everything. To him the only imaginable evil is 'naughtiness'
which attracts upon him the severity of the adult.

He is extremely * receptive' and an environment that touches,
his senses has a strong influence upon him. Therefore it is very
necessary to realize that in the first age of growth the environment