Skip to main content

Finis Operis

FINIS OPERIS

Finis operis is a traditional Latin expression signifying the end, object, or good immanent in an act to which it tends by the interior dynamism of its very being (ontologically, essentially, and necessarily), prescinding from the subjective motives of the agent of the act, or of any particular circumstances under which it is performed. The end specifies the very being and substance (inner construction) of the act.

The finis operis of a human act serves as the invariable basis for the consideration of any other aspect of its morality. The act of justice is ordered to give to others that which is their due; the marital act is essentially constituted by the end to which the natural physiological act is directed [cf. Pius XII, Address to Midwives, Oct. 29, 1951, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 43 (1951) 835854; L. Lochet, "Les Fins du mariage," Nouvelle revue théologique 73 (1951) 449465].

The finis operis of the divine act of creation is the communication of divine goodness to creatures, whereby each creature by reason of its nature mirrors the divine perfections according to the degree of its participation in divine goodness. Intellectual creatures by their love and praise of the divine goodness attain their own beatitude, which is the secondary end (finis operis ) of their creation. In reality, however, the primary and secondary ends are identical, for the intellectual creature's own beatitude is the attainment of the intrinsic essential divine goodness known and loved in the beatific vision.

See Also: finis operantis; end; final causality.

Bibliography: Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951), Tables générales 1:152226. w. kern, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 4:139140. c. schahl, La Doctrine des fins du mariage dans le théologie scolastique (Paris 1948).

[m. r. e. masterman]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Finis Operis." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Finis Operis." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/finis-operis

"Finis Operis." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/finis-operis

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.