The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

09-27-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

C. S. Lewis once provided a powerful image of the difference between heaven and hell.

He described hungry people sitting at a huge banquet loaded with delicious food. Every person had a meter-long fork and knife attached to their hands (that’s about three feet long).

The scene in hell was one of anger, frustration, and fighting as people scrambled to feed themselves. They could reach the food with the long knives and forks, but they were too long to feed themselves. The conflict, screaming, and unfulfilled hunger continued for eternity--that is hell.

But the scene in heaven was quite different. The same tables were loaded with food, and the people had the same long forks and knives attached to their hands. But instead of chaos and conflict, there was joy, laughter, and pleasant conversation.

The difference? In heaven, the diners weren't trying to feed themselves. Each person was patiently taking the food and feeding the person seated across the table.

C.S. Lewis concluded that people who spend all their lives trying to fulfill their own selfish desires are already experiencing a kind of hell.

But those who live a life of service to others will find themselves at home in heaven. They had learned the joy of service on earth, and now they had eternity to enjoy it, only more so.

Those who live a life of service have found a bit of heaven on earth by praying always and never losing heart.