Catechism of the Catholic Church

404 Part Two 1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath 111 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and com- municates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant. 112 Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom 1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social. 113 From the very beginning of the Church there have beenmen andwomen who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroomwho is coming. 114 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model: “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.” 115 1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace, a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away. 116 1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will. 117 Esteem of virgin- ity for the sake of the kingdom 118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other: 111 Cf. Eph 5:26-27. 112 Cf. DS 1800; CIC, can. 1055 § 2. 113 Cf. Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31. 114 Cf. Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 7:32; Mt 25:6. 115 Mt 19:12. 116 Cf. Mk 12:25; 1 Cor 7:31. 117 Cf. Mt 19:3-12. 118 Cf. LG 42; PC 12; OT 10. 796 2232 1579 922-924 2349