Heaven! We know that analogies fail us, that prose can say little, that poetry and symbol are less misleading, that our conceptions of time and duration fail. But we know that the Creator made us to worship him and to reflect his likeness, and heaven will be the perfection of that.

The antitheses which so often disturb us will be resolved. Worship and service will be one. Activity and rest will find harmony. The triumph of achievement and the fascination of new discovery will be blended. There will be the vision of God in whom is the perfection of beauty, wisdom and love. This is how St Augustine describes heaven: "We shall rest and we shall see, we shall love, we shall love and we shall praise, in the end which is no end."

But because God is love and heaven is our perfection in love, there is no heaven for him who cherishes a kind of private ambition: "I want heaven." That is why the idea of a Christian heaven can be a sort of selfish compensation is utterly beside the mark. Furthermore, because heaven is what it is, you cannot dream of your own perfection there apart from the perfection of others.

Introducing the Christian Faith