Catechism of the Catholic Church

400 Part Two A rticle 7 THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY 1601 “The matrimonial covenant, bywhich a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” 84 I. M arriage in G od ’ s P lan 1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.” 85 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various reali- zations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church. 86 Marriage in the order of creation 1603 “The intimate community of life and love which consti- tutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage.” 87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and perma- nent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, 88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Chris- tian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.” 89 84 CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1. 85 Rev 19:7, 9; cf. Gen 1:26-27. 86 1 Cor 7:39; cf. Eph 5:31-32. 87 GS 48 § 1. 88 Cf. GS 47 § 2. 89 GS 47§ 1. 369 796 371 2331 2210