L’amour a vaincu la mort

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On Saturday evening in Paris, I was walking towards the St. Paul metro station on Rue de Rivoli and came across a church (whose name I do not know). Along the church’s façade hung a big white banner proclaiming that “L’amour a vaincu la mort“. My limited French tells me that “love has conquered death”. But, I couldn’t quite figure out the logic.

I recognize the precept that through the love of God and the sacfrice of His Son, believers can achieve eternal life. What has me confused is my understanding that believers must first die in order to have eternal life. It reminds me of my favorite line from Peter Tosh’sEqual Rights“, “everybody wants to go up to heaven, but none of them want to die.” So if death is a prerequisite for ascension, then why would we want love to be so cruel as to impede eternal life? And am I the only one who noticed that the Christian wedding vows are only binding “until death do us part”? Someone needs to get their story straight. Otherwise with love conquering death, we are in for a very long marriage and no retirement.

Maybe it was the Bee Gees who said it best, “Nobody gets too much heaven no more . . . nobody gets too much love anymore, it’s as high as a mountain and harder to climb.”

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “L’amour a vaincu la mort

  1. TheCommentKiller

    that is actually a very interesting insight about how eternal life cannot be achieved on earth. I never thought of that.

    On PBS this week, my favorite show ‘Frontline’ did a four our documentary on Mormonism. And i was reminded of the fact that in Mormon wedding vows marriage is eternal.

  2. eric

    Yes, that is interesting. I suppose it is a form of diversification (in the marketing sense). My sentence after the part about marriage (in terms of retirement) is that if love conquers death, meaning that we never die, then life is a little too long. Who is going to pay for our retirement? Will there be a population problem. Is it even sustainable?

  3. TheCommentKiller

    Now you are just being silly. But i liked your first question: why does one have to die to gain eternal life? And what i thought you might ask is- then why live now? Seems like a Camus question.

    I would argue if one is really a true believer of that philosophy then they would try to die quicker so as to attain eternal life b/c it seems in that philosophy eternal life is optimal.

    I think the movie ‘City of Angels’ touched on this point a bit, but i shouldn’t mention that b/c we may get sidetracked b/c the issue you raised is better.

    And my question is, if you are a true believer in that notion of eternal life- why not get there as quick as possible?

    *please note that i have not sleep well the past two weeks as i have been preping for trial- so i may not make any sense at this point.

  4. eric

    Then get some sleep. Actually, Saint Teresa of Avila was famous for her devotional mysticism whereby she wished she could die so she could be be God’s side. She writes,

    “vivo sin vivir en mi, y tan alta vida espero, que muero porque no muero.”

    Of course, taking one’s own life is a sin.

  5. It is the “Love of the Father” that conquers death, not your love. Silly hominid, you don’t have anything of value to exchange for eternal life, except subservience.

    John 3:16 (King James Version)
    King James Version (KJV)
    Public Domain

    16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    An interesting interpretation of the verse in question: http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_52.html

    Beatitudine,
    James

  6. eric

    Love is like a preservative to avoid things from perishing. You still die before you have everlasting life, right? I haven’t seen people that old in church.

  7. You are linking your perspective to the carbon based form, (which some of us believe is all there is), whereas the indications of the devout are that the fleshbag is animated via divine spirit, the soul.

    That which you believe is you, the body, is not the essence of your being, in the faithful perspective. It is merely a vehicle for experiencing this plane of existence. The body belongs to the earth but “the soul of man is proprietary of the Lord”.

    You are looking at it as a structuralist, not a contextualist. (realism vs. metaphysics)

  8. eric

    James,

    Are you going to ruin my silliness? I think that the saying “Love conquered death” could at least be more specific and mention the body/soul distinction more clearly. It would be easier for simpletons like myself. ; )

  9. D’oh. Damn intarwebs and its lack of inflection. Your voice here isn’t nearly as entertaining as it is in person … no offense.

    I’ll shut up now … until I figure out whether you are engaging in levity or serious discourse.

    ::sigh:: mea culpa!!!

  10. eric

    No, I was actually trying to engage in levity to show some of the silliness of seriousness and to once again return to levity.

  11. That is a declarative statement only mia cugino could use. 😦

    Intarwebs hooligan? LOL.

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