Miriam recently began to tackle to mystery of the Eucharist. True to form, she comes back to it again and again--usually as I'm driving through particularly heavy traffic--each time with a new slant.
Miriam: "Mummy, does Jesus put himself in the bread?"
Parent: "Yes. He becomes the bread."
M: "Why does he do that?"
P: "So he can be with us."
M: "So we can eat him?"
P: "Well, yes." (Thinks: Wow. This sounds stranger than fiction!)
M:"But we shouldn't bited people!"
P: "Well, he wants us to eat him."
M: "But we can't bited people!"
M: "Mother. Jesus wants to be in my heart."
P: "That's right."
M: "So, I have to eated the bread, and then he's in my tummy."
P: "Yes. And your heart." (Wonders: How on earth does one explain this to a three-year-old? Or to anyone?)
M: "But he's already in my heart, you said, Mummy! So I don't have to bited him!"
P: "Ah. Yes, he's in your heart, but he wants to be more in your heart." (So lame.)
M: "Like he was in Mary's heart and her tummy?"
Okay. Indeed. And mummy has nothing more to say.