Through some periods of my life I experienced a greatly intensified feeling of hunger for God which usually lasted about one to two weeks without any let-up at all, day or night, and then suddenly ceased. During these periods I could not describe my feelings: it was like a pain which radiated through every part of me; yet at the same time I was aware of God’s reality and nearness. It usually became almost unbearable after a few days.

One evening during one of these periods I was trying to pray when I suddenly found I could express myself no longer; not that words failed me, but I seemed to come to an end of myself. A few seconds passed and I became aware that although I was no longer able to pray or even think, yet the state of prayer continued most positively, and at a deep level.

It flashed through my conscious mind. ‘This is the Holy Spirit,’ I knew something of what St. Paul meant when he said, ‘The Holy Spirit taketh intercession for us.’ This I knew was happening at that very moment and I was in its presence. I was conscious of no emotion, no joy or fear, only interest, and what I can only describe as a strange pulling sensation. It was as though I was deliberately being allowed to see and know something private and holy. As the awareness faded I was filled with awe and wonder that all the power and love of God was concerned with me.

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