The Divine Object in the Creation of the Universe
The end of the creation of the universe is, that there may be an angelic heaven; and as the angelic heaven is the end, so also is man or the human race, because heaven consists of the human race. Hence all things that are created are mediate ends and uses, in the order, degree, and respect that they have relation to man, and by man to the Lord. (DLW n. 329)
The universal end, which is the end of all things in creation, is, that there may be an eternal conjunction of the Creator with the created universe; and this is impossible unless there be subjects in which His Divine may be, as in Himself, thus in which it may dwell and remain. Such subjects, in order that they may be His habitations and mansions, must be recipients of His love and wisdom as of themselves. They must therefore be such as can, as of themselves, elevate themselves to the Creator, and conjoin themselves with Him. Without this reciprocation no conjunction can be effected. These subjects are men who can, as of themselves, elevate and join themselves. By this conjunction the Lord is present in every work created from Himself; for every created thing is finally for the sake of man. Therefore the uses of all things that are created ascend by degrees from ultimates to man, and through man to God the Creator, from whom they originate.
Creation is in continual progression to this ultimate end, by the three [gradations], end, cause and effect; for these three exist in God the Creator, and the Divine is in all space without space, and is the same in the greatest and least things. Hence it is evident that the created universe, in its general progression to its ultimate end, is relatively the mediate end; for forms of uses are continually raised from the earth by the Lord the Creator, in their order up to man, who as to his body is likewise from the earth. Next, man is elevated by the reception of love and wisdom from the Lord; and all means are provided that he may receive them; and he is made such that he can receive them if he will. (DLW n. 170, 171)