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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