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Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church - mystery of men's union with God

772 It is in the Church that Christ fulfills and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God's plan: "to unite all things in him." 189 St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church "a great mystery." Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn. 190 Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." 191

773 In the Church this communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world. 192

"[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. And holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom." 193 Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle." 194 This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes the "Petrine." 195

Notes:

189 Eph 1:10.

190 Eph 5:32; 3:9-11; 5:25-27.

191 Col 1:27.

192 I Cor 13:8; cf. LG 48.

193 John Paul II, MD 27.

194 Eph 5:27.

195 Cf. John Paul II, MD 27.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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