This is one of John Paul II’s lesser known quotes (at least I hadn’t heard of it until recently), but it is one of my favorites. While it applies to everyone, I think it has particular resonance for women in this day and age. Perhaps more than men, women are often told that the only way they can be strong is by being independent. While there is certainly some truth in this- I’d be the last to say that women should be clingy and needy- it ignores the fundamental truth that we must all depend on God. Depending on Him will not weaken us; in fact, it will give us strength we could never have imagined! And to a lesser extent, we must learn to depend on those around us. Too many women are made to feel that “depending on” on a man makes them less of a woman. I say, if “depending on” means loving, trusting, and leaning on for mutual support- then bring it on! (Of course, this is not to ignore the fact that all too often, we find ourselves surrounded by people we cannot trust. However, it is to say that we should always be open to “depending on” others when possible.) Sadly, the lie that we are alone in deciding our future (i.e. God is not with us, we should not lean on those around us for support) and that we must decide for ourselves alone (i.e. we shouldn’t take into account the needs of others) has had the tragic consequence of pushing many women to abortion. Too often, women facing unplanned or difficult pregnancies never have the chance to hear the truth- that God is with them every step of the way as they face their future and that they must decide their future while taking into account the good of the life they are carrying. Let us heed John Paul II’s words in our own lives and proclaim them to the world, and particularly to those women most wounded by the false promise of independence.