Pondering all this, today.
Love and suffering: paradox of love by Alice von Hildebrand
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.
This overwhelming experience is mysteriously linked to another one: the moment we love, we discover a facet of suffering totally unknown to us until then. For falling in love reveals to us in a flash the fragility of man’s metaphysical situation. We have been given the grace of perceiving the beauty of one of God’s creatures, – each one of them a pale reflection of His infinite beauty – and suddenly we realize that, hard as we try, we, “creatures of a day” (Plato, Laws, XI, 923) cannot protect the loved one. Human life is so fragile that – to quote Pascal – “Une vapeur, une goutte d’eau suffit pour le tuer” (A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him). We gain a dolorous awareness that being as weak as we are, we cannot guard the loved one, hard as we try. We realize that this precious being is infinitely fragile. This is inevitably a source of profound suffering. The loved being whose beauty has wounded our heart is frailty itself, and we realize that, ardently as we wish to, we are ourselves too weak and too helpless to shelter him in this threatening and treacherous world where dangers are constantly lurking.