No one is truly "independent." We all live, move and have our being in God, on whom everything depends for its existence. Everything.
So why do we celebrate independence?
Why, when helping the poor, do we hope that we are teaching people to fish rather than risking their dependency by giving them fish?
Why do parents help their utterly dependent children grow up—but not too fast—to be independent and able to make their own way?
Because God, who made and sustains us, also makes us free. St. Paul knew that freedom is a vital human need. So much so that he dramatically declared that ultimate freedom meant being "a slave to Christ."
He saw that we who are free in Christ abhor servitude to anything less than Christ.
So when we see our brothers and sisters held captive by poverty, made dependent by circumstance—natural or man-made—how can we not act?
When we are moved to imitate the bounty of God, what can we not give? It's all God's to begin with.
CRS President and CEO Carolyn Woo often reminds us that it is our privilege to serve the poor, "the least of these." Equally, it's an honor to serve the generous spirits upon whom our service depends.
Whether in the traumatic aftermath of sudden disaster or during the long process of development, those who yearn for independence and freedom give—not to cause dependency, but to spread independence and freedom.
Sometimes, a few months of food gets a family back on its feet. In the hardest places, securing independence takes years of nurturing and sacrifice.
And all we give is all good—because it's all God's.
We depend on God for our freedom and independence. He gives it to us again and again. And we pass it on.
Thank you for helping CRS bring freedom and independence to the poorest of God's people.