YOUTCAT contents for At-Home Lesson#7

YOUCAT# 321, 323~324, 329~330, 333~334, 337~339, 342 and p.181 margin [1]

YOUCAT#321 Can a Christian be a radical individualist?

No, a Christian can never be a radical individualist, because man is by nature designed for fellowship. [1877, 1878-1880, 1890-1891]

Every person has a mother and a father; he receives help from others and is obliged to help others and to develop his talents for the benefit of all. Since man is God’s “image”, in a certain way he reflects God, who in his depths is not alone but triune (and thus life, love, dialogue, and exchange). Finally, love is the central commandment for all Christians; through it we profoundly belong together and are fundamentally dependent on one another. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39).

YOUCAT#323 How can the individual be integrated into society in such a way that he nevertheless can develop freely?

The individual can develop freely in society if the “principle of subsidiarity” is observed. [1883-1885, 1894]

The principle of subsidiarity, which was developed as part of CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING, states: What individuals can accomplish by their own initiative and efforts should not be taken from them by a higher authority. A greater and higher social institution must not take over the duties of a subordinate organization and deprive it of its competence. Its purpose, rather, is to intervene in a subsidiary fashion (thus offering help) when individuals or smaller institutions find that a task is beyond them.

YOUCAT#324 On what principles does a society build?

Every society builds on a hierarchy of values that is put into practice through justice and love. [1886-1889, 1895-1896]

No society can last unless it is based on a clear orientation toward values that are reflected in a just ordering of relationships and an active implementation of this justice. Thus man may never be made into a means to an end of societal action. Every society needs constant conversion from unjust structures. Ultimately this is accomplished only by love, the greatest social commandment. It respects others. It demands justice. It makes conversion from inequitable conditions possible.

YOUCAT#329 How does social justice come about in a society?

Social justice comes about where the inalienable dignity of every person is respected and the resulting rights are safeguarded and championed without reservation. Among these is also the right to active participation in the political, economic, and cultural life of the society. [1928, 1929-1933, 1943-1944]

Because The basis of all justice is respect for the inalienable dignity of the human person, “whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt” (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis, published 1987). Human rights are an immediate consequence of human dignity, and no State can abolish or change them. States and authorities that trample these rights underfoot are unjust regimes and lose their authority. A society is not perfected by laws, however, but rather by love of neighbor, which makes it possible for everyone to “look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as ‘another self’ ” (GS 27, 1).

YOUCAT#330 To what extent are all men equal in God’s sight?

All men are equal in God’s sight insofar as all have the same Creator, all were created in the same image of God with a rational soul, and all have the same Redeemer. [1934-1935, 1945]

Because all men are equal in God’s sight, every person possesses the same dignity and has a claim to the same human rights. Hence every kind of social, racist, sexist, cultural, or religious discrimination against a person is an unacceptable injustice.

YOUCAT#333 Is there a natural law that everyone can know?

If people are to do good and avoid evil, certainty about what is good or evil must be inscribed within them. In fact there is such a moral law that is, so to speak, “natural” to men and can be known in principle by every person by reason. [1949, 1950-1953, 1954-1960, 1975, 1978-1979]

The natural moral law is valid for everyone. It tells men what fundamental rights and duties they have and thus forms the real foundation for life together in the family, in society, and in the State. Because our natural knowledge is often troubled by sin and human weakness, a person needs God’s help and his REVELATION in order to stay on the right path.

YOUCAT#334 What connection is there between the “natural moral law” and the Law of the Old Covenant?

The Law of the Old Covenant expresses truths that by nature are evident to human reason yet are now proclaimed and authenticated as God’s Law. [1961-1963, 1981]

YOUCAT#337 How are we saved?

No man can save himself. Christians believe that they are saved by God, who for this purpose sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world. For us salvation means that we are freed by the Holy Spirit from the power of sin and have been brought back from the realm of death to a life without end, a life in God’s presence. [1987-1995, 2017-2020]

Paul observes: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Sin cannot exist in the presence of God, who is justice and goodness through and through. If sin is worth nothing, what about the sinner, then? In his love, God found a way by which he destroys sin but saves the sinner. He makes him “right” again, that is to say, righteous or just. That is why from ancient times salvation has also been called justification. We are not made just by our own power. A man can neither forgive his own sins nor rescue himself from death. For that, God has to act on our behalf—out of mercy, not because we could deserve or merit it. In Baptism, God grants us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Rom 3:22). Through the Holy Spirit, who is poured out into our hearts, we take part in the death and Resurrection of Christ—we die to sin and are born to new life in God. The divine gifts of faith, hope, and charity come over us and make us able to live in the light and to obey God’s will.

YOUCAT#338 What is grace?

By grace we mean God’s free, loving gift to us, his helping goodness, the vitality that comes from him. Through the Cross and Resurrection, God devotes himself entirely to us and communicates himself to us in grace. Grace is everything God grants us, without our deserving it in the least. [1996-1998, 2005, 2021]

“Grace”, says Pope Benedict XVI, “is being looked upon by God, our being touched by his love.” Grace is not a thing, but rather God’s communication of himself to men. God never gives less than himself. In grace we are in God.

YOUCAT#339 What does God’s grace do to us?

God’s grace brings us into the inner life of the Holy Trinity, into the exchange of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It makes us capable of living in God’s love and of acting on the basis of this love. [1999-2000, 2003-2004, 2023-2024]

Grace is infused in us from above and cannot be explained in terms of natural causes (supernatural grace). It makes us—especially through Baptism—children of God and heirs of heaven (sanctifying or deifying grace). It bestows on us a permanent disposition to do good (habitual grace). Grace helps us to know, to will, and to do everything that leads us to what is good, to God, and to heaven (actual grace). Grace comes about in a special way in the sacraments, which according to the will of our Savior are the preeminent places for our encounter with God (sacramental grace). Grace is manifested also in special gifts of grace that are granted to individual Christians (CHARISMS) or in special powers that are promised to those in the state of marriage, the ordained state, or the religious state (graces of state).

YOUCAT#342 Are we all supposed to become “saints”?

Yes. The purpose of our life is to be united with God in love and to correspond entirely to God’s wishes. We should allow God “to live his life in us” (Mother Teresa). That is what it means to be holy: a “saint”. [2012-2016, 2028-2029]

Every man asks himself the question: Who am I and why am I here, how do I find myself? Faith answers: Only in HOLINESS does man become that for which God created him. Only in holiness does man find real harmony between himself and his Creator. Holiness, however, is not some sort of self-made perfection; rather, it is union with the incarnate love that is Christ. Anyone who gains new life in this way finds himself and becomes holy.


The Church’s teaching about the ordering of life in society and about the attainment of individual and social justice. Its four central principles are: personhood, the common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity.

References / Citations

[1] Miller, Michael J, and Benedict. Youcat English: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco, Calif: Ignatius Press, 2011, pp.180~189.

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994.

[3] BibleGateway (online bible).