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Life in Christ

561

2334

“In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and

woman an equal personal dignity.”

119

“Man is a person, man and

woman equally so, since both were created in the image and

likeness of the personal God.”

120

2335

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

union

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

flesh.”

121

All human generations proceed from this union.

122

2336

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.”

123

What God

has joined together, let not man put asunder.

124

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth com­

mandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.

II.

T

he

V

ocation

to

C

hastity

2337

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

woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the

person and the integrality of the gift.

119

FC

22; cf.

GS

49 § 2.

120

MD

6.

121

Gen

2:24.

122 Cf.

Gen

4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1.

123

Mt

5:27-28.

124 Cf.

Mt

19:6.

357

2205

1614

2349

2520