Until it starts loving the human heart hibernates. This affective response (sanctioned by the will) is a response to the beauty of another person that has shaken our heart from its slumber. It is such a powerful “wake up call” that all of a sudden “all things are new.” He who has never loved has never truly lived.
The overwhelming joy that is linked to this awakening has two paradoxical effects. One of them is that the newborn lover gains the certitude that man has been made for immortality. (Wisdom 2: 23) It is inconceivable that what the lover experiences in truly loving should be evanescent; like a flower that blossoms, enchants us by its beauty … and soon fades and dies. We live in a transient world where things are born and die. The sunrise is followed by a sunset; the joy of a new birth is followed by the grief of death. This is why it is overwhelming indeed to gain the absolute, unshakeable certainty that what is experienced in loving victoriously conquers death. This has been beautifully expressed in one of Gabriel Marcel’s plays, “Le Mort de Demain,” in which the key character exclaims: “Toi, tu ne mourras pas.” (“Thou, thou shalt not die.”)