Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a completeness, a fullness, a wholeness of life….We will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love—either with another human person or with God. And this must not be confined only to sexual fulfillment: it embraces everything in the human person—the capacity for self-giving, for sharing, for creativity, for mutual care, for spiritual concern.

love is not just something that happens to you: it is a certain special way of being alive.

Thomas Merton. Love and Living. (New York: Harcourt, 1965). p. 27

emphasis mine