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"It consists", says Newman, "In an ever watchful superintendence of us on the part of our All-Merciful Lord, removing temptations which He sees will be fatal to us, succouring us at those times when we are in particular peril, whether from our negligence or other cause, and ordering the course of our life so that we may die at a time when He sees that we are in the state of grace." The supernatural character of such a gift is clearly asserted by Christ: "Holy Father, keep them in they name whom thou has given" ( John ); by St.
Paul : "he, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus " (Phil., i, 6); and by St.
Theologians unite in saying that final perseverance comes under the impetrative power of prayer and St. Final perseverance is the preservation of the state of grace till the end of life.The expression is taken from Matthew , "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved." A temporary continuance in grace, be it ever so long, evidently falls short of the obvious meaning of the above phrase, if it fails to reach the hour of death. Matthew does not necessarily imply a lifelong and unbroken continuance in grace, since it is of faith that lost grace can be recovered.That we can never in this life be certain of our final perseverance is defined by the Council of Trent (Sess. xvi): "Si quis magnum illud usque in finem perseverantiae donum se certo habiturum, absoluta et infallibili certitudine dixerit, nisi hoc ex speciali revelatione dedicerit, anathema sit".What places it beyond our meriting power is the obvious fact that revelation nowhere offers final perseverance, with it retinue of efficacious graces and its crown of a good death, as a reward for our actions, but, on the contrary, constantly reminds us that, as the Council of Trent puts it, "the gift of perseverance can come only from Him who has the power to confirm the standing and to raise the fallen".