Life in Christ
“In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and
woman an equal personal dignity.”
“Man is a person, man and
woman equally so, since both were created in the image and
likeness of the personal God.”
Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tender
ness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The
of man and woman
in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the
Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his fa
ther and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one
All human generations proceed from this union.
Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins.
In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God’s plan strictly: “You
have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I
say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
has joined together, let not man put asunder.
The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth com
mandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.
Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality
within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and
spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily
and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly
human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to
another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the
person and the integrality of the gift.
49 § 2.
4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1.