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
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.
Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom
Christ is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him
takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Esteem of virgin-
ity for the sake of the kingdom
and the Christian understanding
of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:
112 Cf. DS 1800; CIC, can. 1055 § 2.