Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 409 IV. T he E ffects of the S acrament of M atrimony 1638 “From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament. ” 142 The marriage bond 1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. 143 From their cove­ nant arises “an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society.” 144 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: “Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.” 145 1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated be- tween baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consum- mation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom. 146 The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony 1641 “By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God.” 147 This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they “help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children.” 148 1642 Christ is the source of this grace. “Just as of old God encoun- tered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony.” 149 Christ dwells with them, 142 Cf. CIC, can. 1134. 143 Cf. Mk 10:9. 144 GS 48 § 1. 145 GS 48 § 2. 146 Cf. CIC, can. 1141. 147 LG 11 § 2. 148 LG 11 § 2; cf. LG 41. 149 GS 48 § 2. 2365 1615 796