man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratui
tously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.
The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the
in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the
person decides for or against God.
Equality and difference willed by God
Man and woman have been
which is to say,
by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on
the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being
man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by
God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes
to them immediately from God their Creator.
Man and woman
are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God.” In
their “being-man” and “being-woman,” they reflect the Creator’s
wisdom and goodness.
In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman.
God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the
sexes. But the respective “perfections” of man and woman reflect some-
thing of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a
father and husband.
“Each for the other”—“A unity in two”
God created man and woman
and willed each
the other. The Word of God gives us to understand this through
various features of the sacred text. “It is not good that the man
should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him.”
the animals can be man’s partner.
The woman God “fashions”
from the man’s rib and brings to him elicits on the man’s part a cry
of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: “This at last is
bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
Man discovers woman
as another “I,” sharing the same humanity.
238 Cf. Vatican Council I,
22 § 5;