Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 401 1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love— the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. 90 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’” 91 1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” 92 The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. 93 “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” 94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” 95 Marriage under the regime of sin 1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within him- self. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less over- come according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and indi- viduals, but it does seem to have a universal character. 1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mu­ tual recriminations; 96 their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own 90 Cf. Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16. 91 Gen 1:28; cf. 1:31. 92 Gen 2:18. 93 Cf. Gen 2:18-25. 94 Gen 2:24. 95 Mt 19:6. 96 Cf. Gen 3:12. 355 372 1614 1849 400