Yesterday, we went to visit Bernie at her University: we met for Mass, and then went to the coast for a walk along the beach with Charlie and Dominique, and Goldie, our dog.

It was an overcast day, and quite cold, but we had a lovely walk, and had some fish and chips for lunch, as a Sunday treat.

Bernie was having a great day, and said: “The Trovatos win at life!” I knew what she meant and was pleased that she was happy, but it also set me thinking.

We are indeed very blessed: we have enough food to eat, somewhere nice to live, our kids are healthy and happy, and we even have enough money for occasional treats like fish and chips for a celebration.

And I am glad that the kids are happy: indeed that is part of my project, so that they grow up confident in themselves and in their Faith.

Nonetheless, I was slightly disturbed by her words, because if we are ‘winning’ at life, who is losing? The answer might be precisely those who do not have enough food to eat, or somewhere nice to live, or healthy and happy kids, or enough money for an occasional treat.

And just as I am clear that it is through no merit of ours that we are so blessed, it is through no fault of theirs that they are losing. In fact, if there is any fault, it lies with those of us who have enough and fail to share it with those who do not.

So perhaps, when we think we are ‘winning’ at life, we are really losing, and those who are suffering now are on the winning side…

As Lent is a time both for spiritual renewal and for alms-giving, these were uncomfortable reflections: so it is time to re-visit what we give to charity, and rather than give the crumbs that fall from our well-stocked table, undertake to give until it hurts. Only then are we worthy of the name of Christians – followers of Christ.

So that’s this week’s challenge: how radical can you be in your generosity to those less fortunate than yourselves?

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