Category Archives: Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart

With the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance to the visionaries in Fatima, there has been a renewed interest in meaning of her visit.  There has been much ink spilled, especially since the release of “Third Secret” in 2000, interpreting all that she did and said.  At the heart of all the visions, miracles and “secrets” is the perennial call to pray and do penance.  But there is one aspect that has, for the most part, remained a mystery.  What did Our Lady mean when she told the visionaries that “in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”?

To understand what Our Lady meant when she told the visionaries of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart we have to examine a most fundamental truth.  It is the Immaculate Heart that paves the way for the Sacred Heart.  This is not based on some pretended religiosity and obscure connection but the most basic truth that in the fullness of time, it was the Immaculate Heart, a heart completely open to God’s will that led to the creation of the Sacred Heart.  Not only does the Immaculate Heart pave the way in the fullness of time, but also at the end of time.  That is it was the Immaculate Heart that brought about the Incarnation and thus we should expect that it would be instrumental in His return.  Just was we know that it is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is Our Lord both in His Divinity and His humanity that will reign in the end, we can also know that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will reign as well.

The Immaculate Heart

In his theological commentary on the Third Secret of Fatima, the future Pope Benedict XVI explained what it meant to have a devotion to the Immaculate Heart.  He said, in “biblical language, the “heart” indicates the center of human life, the point where reason, will, temperament and sensitivity converge, where the person finds his unity and his interior orientation. According to Matthew 5:8, the ‘immaculate heart’ is a heart which, with God’s grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore ‘sees God’. To be ‘devoted’ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—‘your will be done’—the defining center of one’s whole life.”  His point is that the Immaculate Heart reigns in our hearts when we allow our own hearts to be cultivated after hers.

Mary’s heart is one that is one that does not grow weary because she is always expecting God to act personally in her life.  Evidence her reaction to the appearance of St. Gabriel.  Throughout the Old Testament record, the appearance of an angel always elicits great fear in the visionary.  The first words spoken by the angel is “do not be afraid.”  But Mary seems to expect the angel and is clearly not shaken by his appearance; even if his manner of greeting her is troubling. Most of the artistic renderings of the Annunciation show her at prayer, but there is little proof of this other than pious tradition.  She was just as likely working as sitting in contemplation.  She knew God can and does come in either situation.  She travels to the Hill Country to visit Elizabeth “in haste” because she is excited to see the mighty power of God at work.  She believes and professes that nothing is impossible for God.  Her response to St. Gabriel’s proposal is “let it be done to me according to thy word.”  Later when she arrives at the home of her cousin Elizabeth she proclaims the “great things that God has done for me.”  It is this change in preposition that shows how deep her trust in God truly is.  A living faith like that of Our Lady is one that sees those things that God does to us, ultimately are for us.  But this is a radical trust that must come from the heart and be filled with fiat.

How the Immaculate Heart Triumphs

How is it that the Immaculate Heart will triumph?  Building on Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary we can say that the reign of the Immaculate Heart is not so much about the reign of Mary as Queen per se, but a devotion to her spirit.  It is by the wholesale adoption of this spirit of the Immaculate Heart.  The Kingdom comes when “Thy will is done on earth as it is in heaven.”  It is only this spirit of fiat, that is, the spirit of wanting nothing more than God’s will that will bring about the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

We might see how this is done individually, but how can an entire culture adopt this stance?  This is why Our Lady so vehemently desires the First Saturday devotion.  It is the Communion of Reparation that will bring about this reign.  When all the children begin to act like Mommy and willingly go to the foot of the Cross and stay with Jesus.  This is no symbolic gesture but instead a literal one.  We go to the foot of the Cross each time we go to Mass and on First Saturdays we go with Our Lady in reparation for the offenses against her Immaculate Heart—not because she is overly sensitive, but because without reparation by those children that love her, her spirit of fiat will never spread.  There are two things always at the heart of Christian culture—Mary and the Mass.  Where devotion to Our Lady thrives, so too does the Mass.  Where the Mass is seen as the “source and summit” love for the Immaculate Heart grows.

Ironically there has been so much controversy over whether or not John Paul II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart or not, that we have neglected the other part of Our Lady’s request of the First Saturday Communion of Reparation.  While we have very little control over whether the Pope performed or has yet to perform the Consecration of Russia, we do have control over the spread of this practice.  The best way to bring about the reign of the Immaculate Heart and hasten the reign of the Sacred Heart is also the best way to heal our culture.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, reign in our hearts and show us the way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Why Devotion to the Sacred Heart is Necessary

In a 2006 letter addressed to Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the Superior General of the Jesuits marking the 50th Anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical on the Sacred Heart, Haurietis Aquas, Pope Benedict XVI said that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus “remains indispensable for a living relationship with God…It cannot be considered as a passing form of worship or devotion.”  Not one prone to hyperbole, the Pope Emeritus was simply drawing upon the tradition of his recent predecessors.  For example, when faced with some of the fallout from the Second Vatican Council regarding the devotional life of the Church, Blessed Paul VI spoke about the Sacred Heart often.  He said that “it is absolutely necessary that the faithful venerate and honor the Sacred Heart in the expression of their private piety as well as in the services of public cult, because of His fullness we have all received” (Investigabiles Divitias Christi, 1965) and also reminding the Faithful that “the cult rendered to the Sacred Heart is the most efficacious means to contribute to that spiritual and moral renewal of the world called for by the Second Vatican Council” (Address to the Thirty-First General Congregation of the Society of Jesus,1966).  Clearly the Popes of the last 60 years are unanimous in their assessment of the importance of devotion to the Sacred Heart, but it is in reading the aforementioned Pius XII’s encyclical that we are able to see that it should hold a certain primacy.  He speaks of the obligation that Christians have toward devotion to the Sacred Heart, cautioning against treating it as we do other private devotions: “There are some who, confusing and confounding the primary nature of this devotion with various individual forms of piety which the Church approves and encourages but does not command, regard this as a kind of additional practice which each one may take up or not according to his own inclination.”

In order to fully grasp why this devotion is obligatory, Pius XII challenged us to a “more earnest consideration of those principles which take their origin from Scripture and the teaching of the Fathers and theologians and on which, as on solid foundations, the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus rests.”  Before looking at the devotion itself, it is instructive to consider two of the most important principles, namely the Biblical notion of Heart and the Hypostatic Union.

Because the heart was viewed as the vital center of life in the body, it was also used as a metaphor for the very core of a person.  It is considered the seat of the soul where intellect, will and passions meet.  It becomes synonymous with the interior of the person so much so that Scripture repeatedly speaks of judging man’s heart.  Even a secularized understanding of the heart captures its connection to love.  It is so closely associated with love that when we love a person and long for a response to that love, it is their heart that we want to call our own.

There has often been a criticism of devotion to the Sacred Heart (increasingly so even inside the Church) that it is a subtle form of idolatry or worshipping of an image.  But once we recall the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union we can quickly set those objections to rest.

The early Church was confronted with a number of heresies regarding the Person of Christ.  There was a need to adequately explain how the man Jesus Christ was both human and divine.  It was the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) that declared that the two natures of Christ are joined “in one person and one hypostasis.”  What this meant was that the Divine Person of the Son took a complete human nature.  Because this union is in the Person, it is the closest possible union between the human and divine.  What this means that all the parts of that human nature were also united to the Person so that even His human heart is united to Him.  What this means is that devotion to the Sacred Heart is based on the fact that where the human heart of Christ is, God is found.  In other words, the worship that we give to the Sacred Heart is directed to God Himself.  In this regard there is certainly a biblical foundation.  When St. Thomas the Apostle puts his hand into the side of Christ and touches the Sacred Heart, he worships Him as “my Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28).

While devotion to the Sacred Heart is directed to the Person of Son because of the Hypostatic Union, it is also as a symbol that it merits the greatest of devotion.  This is particularly true for our times in particular because many Christians trapped in a world dominated by various “isms” see Christianity as just one potential worldview (even if they think it to be true).   But Christianity is not primarily about embracing a form of belief or accepting a doctrine but accepting and receiving a Person.  It is first and foremost about having a real encounter with a man who was once dead and is now alive—Jesus Christ.  Ideas don’t have human hearts, but Persons do.  Devotion to the Sacred Heart always protects us from falling into this dangerous trap. It serves to remind us that what we are to study is not primarily a doctrine, but a Person.  What makes this devotion so powerful is that in studying the Sacred Heart, it not only reveals the Person but also all we know about Him.  You can tie almost every doctrine back to the Sacred Heart (the Incarnation, the Resurrection in His own body, the Church, the Sacraments, etc.)  Pope Pius XI seems to summarize it best when he calls devotion to the Sacred Heart “the summary of our religion.”


While the Heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God’s love, it is unlike any other symbol used in popular piety.  It is no imaginary symbol but a real symbol, which represents the source from which love for all mankind gushed forth.  It is like a sacrament in that it brings about the two things it symbolizes, namely the love of God for mankind and mankind’s love for God.

When Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque He invited her to “”Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love.”  The Sacred Heart reveals to us the extreme depth of God’s love for each one of us.  It is a Heart that was emptied of all that was in it through Christ’s outpouring on the Cross.  It is a love not just of giving, but like the greatest loves it leads to communion.  When His Heart is pierced by the lance, He gave us the power of adoption in the water.  But unlike any merely human adoption where the child’s blood is different than the rest of the family, He transfused the same blood that flowed out into our veins.  In this way the Sacred Heart is the source of the Sacraments.

All too often people speak of love as an act of the will, as though it should be detached from our feelings.  But love that is only in the will is somehow incomplete.  It is not loving with our entire soul and the person who only loves in the will is often very scary.  In order to be complete, human love must be both in the will and the emotions.  And this is the love that is made possible by the Sacred Heart.  God loves us with a human heart and this realization helps us to avoid seeing God’s love as somehow detached and impersonal.

It not only signifies the love that God has for each one of us, but also it is representative of mankind’s perfect love of God.  God now is loved most perfectly by a human heart.  Not satisfied with a love that is closed in on itself, He empowers each of us (through the blood and water) to love God with His Heart.  It brings about what it symbolizes.  Summarizing, Pius XII says: “It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues …Consequently, the honor paid to the Sacred Heart is such as to raise it to the rank — so far as external practice is concerned — of the highest expression of Christian piety. For this is the religion of Jesus, which is centered on the Mediator who is man and God, and in such a way that we cannot reach the Heart of God, save through the Heart of Christ.”

We Have No King…

During his 25 year reign as Pope, Leo XIII penned 85 encyclicals, but he issued what he thought the most important, Annum Sacrum, in May of 1899. In it, he proposed consecration to the Sacred Heart as perhaps the most effective means to stemming the tide of secularism that had engulfed much of the world. He thought that no one could stop this except “Him by whose strength alone they can be driven away. Who can He be but Jesus Christ the Only-begotten Son of God?”(Annum Sacrum (AS), 11). He compared modern times to those of the early Church when “immediately succeeding her institution, was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young Emperor saw in the heavens a cross, which became at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory that soon followed. And now, today, behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight-the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a cross rising from it and shining forth with dazzling splendor amidst flames of love. In that Sacred Heart all our hopes should be placed, and from it the salvation of men is to be confidently besought.” (AS, 12). Certainly the tide has risen that much higher since he wrote these words and his remedy for the most part has been left untried. Ultimately, whether we acknowledge it or not, there is a battle going on. It is not a battle between liberals and conservatives or Capitalists and Communists or any other groups of men but a battle between the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of Satan. All of us must decide under which standard we will fight and who will be our King. Secularism says “we have no king but Caesar” while Christians must fight to restore the rightful King, Christ, to His throne. But what does the Sacred Heart have to do with this? Is it little more than a convenient symbol to place on the Standard of Christ like Constantine’s Cross?

One of the earliest secularist projects was undertaken by Benedict Spinoza in the 17th Century. He thought society was made up of “human pyramid” of sorts where the population is made up of three distinct classes. There were the intellectual elite (who happened to be materialists), followed by a larger group of experts who are scientifically minded but without the same intellectual capacity of the first group and then the masses of stupid and vulgar people devoid of reason and governed by superstition. He posited that throughout history the pyramid has been inverted because of the Church and if we can eliminate the Church then the pyramid will go right side up. But he was smart enough to realize that a “church” was still necessary for the vulgar masses because they will always be superstitious. He sought to build a secular church to fill this void. Elimination of the Bible was also impossible and so he attempted to insert experts to help read and interpret the Bible (this makes him the “patron saint” of modern biblical criticism). All of this leads to a State that does not define doctrine but only seeks to undermine the Church’s authority by promoting a single doctrine, namely that everyone has a right to believe whatever he wants. By maximizing the right to believe whatever you want this ultimately maximizes the power of the secular state because they will be needed to protect those rights (see Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise for more detail).

The point of bringing up Spinoza is that the secularist project has been directly responsible for distorting the true image of Christ. He is viewed as a soft, effeminate, political revolutionary who shunned all authority. How nicely this fits with the ideal citizen of the world. It is only through contemplation of the Sacred Heart that a true knowledge of Christ can be obtained. Otherwise we always risk making Christ into “my Jesus.”
This is why I have never personally liked the “What Would Jesus Do?”(WWJD) principle. It is entirely the wrong principle for us to guide our lives. Jesus could do so much more than I because He was no mere man. Even if it is a really long acronym and would probably require a necklace instead of a bracelet we should be governed by “With What Spirit Would Jesus Do It?” (WWSWJDI). It is this incarnated spirit that we are trying to have permeate all our actions. That simply does not happen as long as we project our own mediocrity and petty concerns onto Him. Coming to live within the Sacred Heart we break out of this self-imposed prison of mediocrity and allow ourselves to be elevated to His level.


But still, why the Sacred Heart and not just Jesus Himself? This has to do with our human nature and the manner in which we love. All too often we hear “you don’t need to feel love for love is an act of the will.” This is not entirely true. A love that is only an act of the will is not a complete love. In fact it can be cold. But a love that includes not just the will but affections too is a more complete love. This is why we speak of the heart as the seat of our love—it contains both the will and the affections. This, at least, is what Scripture means when it speaks of the heart.
The point is that we often project our suspicions about affections onto Christ and we think of His love as being somewhat cold towards us. But this is the exact opposite of how He loves. His heart (i.e. His will and His affectivity) is literally on fire with love for each one of us. It is through the revelation of the Sacred Heart that He is reminding us of this. When we love a person and long for a return of our love, it is really the heart of the other person that we want to call ours. This is what Christ is offering us in the Sacred Heart. Jesus is not just saying “I love you” but says “I give you my heart.” Which stirs your own heart more?
To give someone your heart is a deeply personal act and reflects the personal love Jesus has for each one of us more clearly. Read the story of the raising of Lazarus to catch a glimpse of the depth of Christ’s personal love. John, because he was the “disciple whom Jesus loved” says “Now Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus” (11:5) to show not that God loves everyone (how many times have we heard that and not been moved?) but that in Christ there is a deep personal love for me.

When he established the Feast of Christ the King, Pope Pius XI said that the reign of Christ would be accomplished through His Sacred Heart. It is the one who “has loved mankind so much” that desires to reign over us. More accurately, it is the One Who has given us His Heart that desires us to reign with Him. No wonder evil forces are at work trying to rob us of our rightful inheritance.

Consecration then is our response. By consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart we pledge that even if we were our own and under His reign then we would still give ourselves to Him. It is an exchange of hearts. As Leo XIII puts it, “For by consecrating ourselves to Him we not only declare our open and free acknowledgment and acceptance of His authority over us, but we also testify that if what we offer as a gift were really our own, we would still offer it with our whole heart. We also beg of Him that He would vouchsafe to receive it from us, though clearly His own.” (AS, 7).

What does this consecration consist in? There are a number of ways this can be expressed, but the most efficacious is through the Enthronement (i.e. put Christ on His rightful throne) of the image of the Sacred Heart. This practice flows from the appearance of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1673-75) when He revealed the Sacred Heart as a sign of His infinite love for us mankind.

He specifically asked that homes be consecrated to His Sacred Heart as a sign of His reigning through the Church, from His throne in the Tabernacle. This link between the Sacred Heart and the Eucharist is vitally important to capturing the true spirit of devotion. The Eucharist is viewed as the fruit of the Sacred Heart itself because it flowed out from Christ’s side when His Heart was pierced on the Cross. Because of this link between the Sacred Heart and the Eucharist, the whole purpose of the devotion is to extend the grace of the Eucharist into the Christian home and from the Christian home into the rest of the society.

Practically, this Enthronement includes an act of consecration whereby all members of the household place themselves totally within the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and ask that His Heart be the source of healing and strength for their poor and wounded hearts. By placing the image of the Sacred Heart in a prominent place in the home it is both an acknowledgement of Christ as rightful King and a sign of the family’s consecration. By the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, we link the tabernacle to our home, inviting our Lord to be our constant and most intimate companion. The Enthronement becomes a way of life. It means that Christ is also King of our hearts, and His presence as Prince of Peace in our homes changes family life. Cardinal Burke wrote an excellent reflection that encourages Enthronement and provides instruction and I would encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing it further to access them here. You can also contact me if you need information on where to get an Enthronement kit.

O, Sacred Heart of Jesus filled with infinite love and broken by our ingratitude and crushed by our sins, accept the consecration we make to thee of all that we are and all that we have.

Loving the Sacred Heart

The necessity of Penance and acts of Reparation has, for the most part, been ignored in the last fifty years.  This stems from a theological confusion as to the relationship between the punishment for sin and Christ’s redeeming sacrifice.  Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was meant to take away the eternal punishment for sin, but the temporal punishment for sin remains.  United to Christ, we are given the currency by which we are able to pay to Divine Justice our temporal debts.  Not only is this a matter of justice, but more importantly, without an eye of reparation, our love for God grows cold.  In fact, this is at the foundation of the words of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque when He revealed to her the need for a special devotion to His Sacred Heart.  He told her, “Behold this Heart which has loved men so much and has loaded them with all benefits, and for this boundless love has had no return but neglect, and contumely, and this often from those who were bound by a debt and duty of a more special love.” With her eyes on this “debt and duty of a more special love” the Church offers us the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which we celebrate tomorrow.

In his 1928 encyclical, Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI reminded the faithful of “the duty of honorable satisfaction which we all owe to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus” and attempted to dispense with the most common difficulty associated with making acts of reparation to the Sacred Heart; namely “if Jesus offered His once and for all sacrifice and is now seated in heaven, how can we console His Sacred Heart?”. In order to “stir up” the Church to put this into practice, the Pope offered two theological explanations as to how this is possible.

The first is based upon a sort of retroactivity. Our Lord, because He is God, during His Passion received consolation for all the acts of reparation He foresaw we would make to Him.  We accept unquestionably that the intense agony that Our Lord suffered during His prayer in Gethsemane was due to taking on the guilt for all the sins that He could foresee.  But there is a flip-side of this as well that we all too easily overlook.  He could also see all the acts of love and reparation that would flow from His suffering.  It was this fruit that the angel offered to Him as part of His consolation (c.f. Luke 22:43).  Each act of reparation allows us to participate more fully in the angel’s act of love and mercy to God Himself.


The second has to do with Christ’s relationship with the Church.  The Passion of Christ is “renewed and in a manner continued and fulfilled in His mystical body, which is the Church” (Miserentissimus Redemptor, 14). Many of us take this to mean that when the Church suffers, Christ too suffers vicariously. But this does not truly capture the mysterious relationship between Christ and the Church revealed in His words to Saul when He asks him “why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:5). Instead what it means is that “when persecutions are stirred up against the Church, the Divine Head of the Church is Himself attacked and troubled” (MR 14).

In a mysterious manner, despite “being in Heaven” Christ can still be troubled. This flows from the fact that Christ is still fully human. With a human nature, He must be capable of the full gamut of emotions. Certainly the emotions share in the glorified state of His humanity and are in some manner fuller, but this does not mean they no longer exist. This is why He reveals His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary. It is meant to remind us that He is fully human and capable of loving us both as God and man (with emotions as well as intellect and will). That He experiences some form of distress when those He loves are suffering on earth should go without saying. That is what love does—suffers with those they love. Christ’s human nature allows Him to mysteriously suffer even now. Our Lady in her apparitions at Fatima spoke as well of the sorrow of her Immaculate Heart which shows that she too suffers in some way.

In my mind this is why devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary is so vitally important for us. Chronologically removed from the great acts of love of Our Lord and Our Lady on Calvary, we can easily treat them as mere historic facts that somehow affect us. By acknowledging that they still are capable of “feeling” our acts of love, it enflames us with an active charity. With that in mind, we ought to actively seek to console them for the wounds they suffer because of mankind’s collective acts of ingratitude.

Through the mouth of the Psalmist, Our Lord complains “My Heart hath expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none” (Ps 68:21). Transformed in our way of thinking of reparation, let us offer ourselves to Jesus as living sacrifices to battle the evils which grievously injure the majesty of God and the welfare of souls.  Let us offer the prayer that Pope Pius XI gave to the Church during this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart:

O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated. At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law. We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood! And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers. Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.