The middle school youth will understand the concept of free will, as well as how, through Jesus, they have received freedom from sin. They also will consider how this freedom leads to joy and discuss the difference between joy and happiness.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence. (301)
Unfortunately, many in our society view dependence on God as the opposite of freedom; they believe it to be restricting and limiting, with too many rules to be followed and too few opportunities to pursue what makes them happy, like wealth, power and fame. On the contrary, the Catechism notes that:
True happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement – however beneficial it may be – such as science, technology , and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love… (1723)