The End of All Things II

Omne agens agit sibi simile. (Each agent produces an effect similar.)

It is through form that an effect bears some similitude to its cause. "Thus the house that is realized in matter proceeds from the house existing ideally in the mind of the architect. In the realm of nature, likewise, man begets man." The form of that which is generated is also the end of generation, and it is through the achievement of this end that things become like the agents that produce them. This is true for both natural and artificial objects. The more something fully becomes what, in some sense, it already is, the more closely it is related to its cause. Even if an effect cannot rise to the perfection of its cause in a specific way as when man procreates to form another man, something of the same species, an effect will still imperfectly achieve some likeness to its cause.

God as the first cause is also the first agent. All creation, then, seeks some similitude to the form of its first cause. This form, though, is nothing else than God's goodness. "This, then, is the reason why all things were made: that they might be assimilated to the divine goodness."


The End of All Things I

For the ultimate end of things produced by one who works through his will is that which is chiefly and for its own sake willed by the agent. It is for this that the agent does all that he does.”

-The Compendium of Theology, Chapter 101

What is first willed by God is His own Goodness. The divine goodness, then, is the ultimate end of all things.


For The Love of Wisdom

""Eternal Life" is thus a relational event. Man did not acquire it from himself or for himself alone. Through relationship with the one who is himself life, man too comes alive. Some preliminary steps toward this profoundly biblical idea can be found in Plato, whose work draws upon very different traditions and reflections upon the theme of immortality. His thought includes the idea that man can become immortal by uniting himself to the immortal. The more he takes truth into himself, binds himself to the truth and adheres to it, the more he is related to and filled with that which cannot be destroyed. Insofar as he himself, as it were, adheres to the truth, insofar as he is carried by that which endures, he may be sure of life after death -- the fullness of life."

-Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth II, pg. 84