454. Some think that heaven consists in a life of ease, in which they are served by others; but they are told that there is no possible happiness in being at rest as a means of happiness, for so everyone would wish to have the happiness of others made tributary to his own happiness; and when everyone wished this, no one would have happiness. Such a life would not be an active life, but an idle one, in which they would grow torpid, and yet they might know that there is no happiness except in an active life. Angelic life consists in use, and in the goods of charity; for the angels know no greater happiness than in teaching and instructing the spirits that arrive from the world; in being of service to men, controlling the evil spirits about them lest they pass the proper bounds, and inspiring the men with good; and in raising up, the dead to the life of eternity, and then, if the souls are such as to render it possible, introducing them into heaven.
From all this they perceive more happiness than can possibly be described. Thus are they images of the Lord; thus do they love the neighbor more than themselves; and for this reason heaven is heaven. So that angelic happiness is in use, from use, and according to use, that is, it is according to the goods of love and of charity. When those who have the idea that heavenly joy consists in living at ease, idly breathing in eternal joy, have heard these things, they are given to perceive, in order to shame them, what such a life really is, and they perceive that it is a most sad one, that it is destructive of all joy, and that after a short time they would loathe and nauseate it.