Heaven is nothing we can seek through our own virtue: it cannot be earned; it is a gift of the God of love. When we are self-emptied enough to make room for this love, it is not as a result of our own moral rectitude or willpower. But it is sometimes given to us, this lovely emptiness, and then the Holy Spirit can fill it, with prayer, or music, or a poem, or a story. Or, sometimes, it goes beyond all these to the greatest gift of all, being filled with that which is beyond all symbols, with God’s Presence. And then we are far more than when we are filled with self-probing, self-centeredness, or self-righteousness.
Source: A Stone for a Pillow