Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 211 bride of the spotless Lamb. 237 “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.” 238 He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body: 239 This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many . . . whether the head or members speak, it is Christ who speaks. He speaks in his role as the head ( ex persona capitis ) and in his role as body ( ex persona corporis ). What does this mean? “The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church.” 240 And the Lord himself says in the Gospel: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” 241 They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union, . . . as head, he calls himself the bridegroom, as body, he calls himself “bride.” 242 III. T he C hurch I s the T emple of the H oly S pirit 797 “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.” 243 “To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the mem- bers.” 244 The Holy Spirit makes the Church “the temple of the living God”: 245 Indeed, it is to the Church herself that the “Gift of God” has been entrusted. . . . It is in her that communion with Christ has been deposited, that is to say: the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruptibility, the strengthening of our faith and the ladder of our ascent to God. . . . For where the Church is, there also is God’s Spirit; where God’s Spirit is, there is the Church and every grace. 246 237 Cf. Rev 22:17; Eph 1:4, 5:27. 238 Eph 5:25-26. 239 Cf. Eph 5:29. 240 Eph 5:31-32. 241 Mt 19:6. 242 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 74:4: PL 36, 948-949. 243 St. Augustine, Sermo 267, 4: PL 38, 1231D. 244 Pius XII, encyclical, Mystici Corporis: DS 3808. 245 2 Cor 6:16; cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17; Eph 2:21. 246 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 24, 1: PG 7/1, 966. 1602 1616 813 586