Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality introduces students to a traditional understanding of morality, encouraging them to undergo a deep and regular examination of conscience while making daily decisions to live a moral life.
Catholic morality draws on three sources of knowledge to help a person discern between right and wrong:
-human reason (using our God-given intellects);
-human experience (learning from the collective wisdom of others who have gone before us); and
-Divine Revelation (learning from God whose truth can be found in the Bible and in the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church).
Examples and text lessons in Your Life in Christ expound on each of these.
Your Life in Christ introduces clear definitions of key terms morality, character, and virtue along with referenced support of each from Scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers and saints, and Church documents, especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, it covers in-depth nine steps that are necessary for a person to live a virtuous and moral life. These steps are:
1. Act like a human—act responsibly as creations made in the Divine image and in possession of God-given dignity.
2. Use your intellect—introduces students to a process of moral decisionmaking that asks them to apply God-given human reason to all moral decisions.
3. Allow objective norms to guide your freedom—the wisdom of the law of past ages helps to guide a person’s conduct.
4. Imitate Christ—Jesus is the preeminent norm and guide for those who want to live a moral life.
5. Form, inform, and follow your conscience—a definition of conscience and practical steps at conscience formation.
6. Repent and seek forgiveness for sins—steps at conversion and reconciliation are discussed, including recourse to the Sacrament of Penance.
7. Love God above all—By observing the first three Commandments and exercising the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, students learn how to live in God’s love.
8. Love yourself—an initial step at loving others; healthy self-love is practiced through living virtues like gratitude, humility, and temperance.
9. Love your neighbor—by practicing virtues such as justice, kindness, and respect, as well as following the commandments, especially the fourth through tenth commandments of the Decalogue.
The text impresses on teens their great worth as humans who are united to Christ by Baptism and to encourage them to imitate Jesus and walk in the Father’s love.
Written and designed in the popular and field-tested Encountering Jesus series format, Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality centers each chapter in a student-directed focus question. The ensuing chapter material clues teens in to concrete ways to answer the question and apply it to their lives in the present as well as consider how their personal answer will have an impact in their lives many years down the road.
Chapter assignments are a hallmark of the Encountering Jesus series. There are three chapter assignment options in every chapter. Each is pitched to a different learning style (defined in the Teacher’s Wraparound Edition) and created principally so that the students can complete their work on the assignment within a two-week period—the duration of the coverage of one chapter. Each assignment comes with a rubric for grading so that no matter which one the students works on the grading will be equally weighted.
There are several other new features in this edition of Your Life in Christ to help students learn and retain key course topics:
-Contemporary News Openers: Helping to balance the informative and formative aspects of the text, each chapter begins with a current example that connects with the chapter material while also helping students to personalize their responses to the main focus question. The text does not shy from events or issues that provoke discussion and debate: for example, the report of a law clerk who left her job in protest of same-sex marriage and the controversial decision of a school that helped a minor arrange for an abortion without her parents’ consent. These news openers come at the beginning of each chapter, helping to engage the students in the moral presentation to follow.
-Note Taking Graphic Organizers: How do you encourage your students to complete their assigned reading? How do you assess that they have done so? Each of the five sections (including the introduction) of the ten chapters of the text includes a different note-taking prompt to help students highlight, outline, and remember what they have read. Questions geared specifically to the note taking are included with each section assessment. Most of these note-taking prompts are applicable in both traditional pen and paper notebooks and in online applications such as One Note or Evernote.
-Infographics and Photo Essays: Teens today read and communicate using digital devices. The text is designed with several infographic presentations of key concepts to resemble the type of presentation they view in an interactive online platform. Infographic features are both incorporated into the main text sections and in separate, pull-out material. For example, an infographic in Chapter 9 details practical ways teens can practice chastity. Other essential information is presented creatively using photo essays. Chapter 8 details elements of an immoral war with images and captions.
As with other texts in the Encountering Jesus series, Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality is available in several different platforms, including in the popular enhanced i-text version with several supporting embedded videos from sources such as Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, Catholic Relief Services, and expert teaching lessons tailored to the text by well-known educator Katie Prejean McGrady and bestselling and award-winning author and speaker Brandon Vogt. Also included are interactive charts and maps and online references for all Scripture and Catechism citations. Many ancillary online resources are available to accompany all forms of the text: directed reading worksheets, crossword puzzles, PowerPoint slides, YouTube writing and discussion assignments, chapter tests, handouts, and more.
A Teacher Wraparound Edition takes special care in providing strategies and lessons to facilitate several different learning styles. Guides, approaches, rubrics, questions, and answers all ease a teacher’s planning and assignment of each text chapter
This edition of Your Life in Christ: Foundations of Catholic Morality remains faithful to its roots as a bestselling, much-loved high school text to support a course on morality. Easy-to-remember methods of conscience formation and moral decision-making known by the acronyms S.T.O.P. (Search out the fact; Think about the alternatives and consequences; Others can help you make good decisions; Pray always for guidance) and S.E.E.R. (Study; Elect; Execute; Review) are still featured.
Living a moral life is the way a person chooses to unite his or her life with our loving God. Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality facilitates instruction and practice in moral living that touches a teenager’s core.