God is quite real to me – Anna

“God is quite real to me. I talk to him and often get answers. Thoughts sudden and distinct from any I have been entertaining come to my mind after asking God for his direction.
Something over a year ago I was for some weeks in the direst perplexity. When the trouble first appeared before me I was dazed, but before long (two or three hours) I could hear distinctly a passage of Scripture: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ Every time my thoughts turned to the trouble I could hear this quotation. I don’t think I ever doubted the existence of God, or had him drop out of my consciousness. God has frequently stepped into my affairs very perceptibly, and I feel that he directs many little details all the time. But on two or three occasions he has ordered ways for me very contrary to my ambitions and plans.”

God is more real to me than any thought or thing or person – Sarah

“God is more real to me than any thought or thing or person.
I feel his presence positively, and the more as I live in closer
harmony with his laws as written in my body and mind. I feel
him in the sunshine or rain; and awe mingled with a delicious
restfulness most nearly describes my feelings. I talk to him as
to a companion in prayer and praise, and our communion is
delightful. He answers me again and again, often in words so
clearly spoken that it seems my outer ear must have carried
the tone, but generally in strong mental impressions. Usually
a text of Scripture, unfolding some new view of him and his
love for me, and care for my safety. I could give hundreds
of instances, in school matters, social problems, financial
difficulties, etc. That he is mine and I am his never leaves me,
it is an abiding joy. Without it life would be a blank, a desert,
a shoreless, trackless waste.”

I had enjoyed a period of intimate communion with the divine – Alfred

“I have on a number of occasions felt that I had enjoyed a period of intimate communion with the divine. These meetings came unasked and unexpected, and seemed to consist merely in the temporary obliteration of the conventionalities which usually surround and cover my life.

Once it was when from the summit of a high mountain I looked over a gashed and corrugated landscape extending to a long convex of ocean that ascended to the horizon, and again from the same point when I could see nothing beneath me but a boundless expanse of white cloud, on the blown surface of which a few high peaks, including the one I was on, seemed plunging about as if they were dragging their anchors. What I felt on these occasions was a temporary loss of my own identity, accompanied by an illumination which revealed to me a deeper significance than I had been wont to attach to life.”

I felt the presence of God – John

“ When all at once I experienced a feeling of being raised above myself, I felt the presence of God—I tell of the thing just as I was conscious of it—as if his goodness and his power were penetrating me altogether. The throb of emotion was so violent that I could barely tell the boys to pass on and not wait for me. I then sat down on a stone, unable to stand any longer, and my eyes overflowed with tears. I thanked God that in the course of my life he had taught me to know him, that he sustained my life and took pity both on the insignificant creature and on the sinner that I was. I begged him ardently that my life might be consecrated to the doing of his will. I felt his reply, which was that I should do his will from day to day, in humility and poverty, leaving him, the Almighty God, to be judge of whether I should some time be called to bear witness more conspicuously. Then, slowly, the ecstasy left my heart; that is, I felt that God had withdrawn the communion which he had granted, and I was able to walk on, but very slowly, so strongly was I still possessed by the interior emotion. Besides, I had wept uninterruptedly for several minutes, my eyes were swollen, and I did not wish my companions to see me.

The state of ecstasy may have lasted four or five minutes, although it seemed at the time to last much longer. My comrades waited for me ten minutes at the cross of Barine, but I took about twenty-five or thirty minutes to join them, for as well as I can remember, they said that I had kept them back for about half an hour. The impression had been so profound that in climbing slowly the slope I asked myself if it were possible that Moses on Sinai could have had a more intimate communication with God.

I think it well to add that in this ecstasy of mine God had neither form, color, odor, nor taste; moreover, that the feeling of his presence was accompanied with no determinate localization. It was rather as if my personality had been transformed by the presence of a spiritual spirit. But the more I seek words to express this intimate intercourse, the more I feel the impossibility of describing the thing by any of our usual images. At bottom the expression most apt to render what I felt is this: God was present, though invisible; he fell under no one of my senses, yet my consciousness perceived him.”

…nothing but an ineffable joy and exaltation remained – George

“I remember the night, and almost the very spot on the hilltop, where my soul opened out, as it were, into the Infinite, and there was a rushing together of the two worlds, the inner and the outer. It was deep calling unto deep,—the deep that my own struggle had opened up within being answered by the unfathomable deep without, reaching beyond the stars. I
stood alone with Him who had made me, and all the beauty of the world, and love, and sorrow, and even temptation. I did not seek Him, but felt the perfect unison of my spirit
with His. The ordinary sense of things around me faded.

For the moment nothing but an ineffable joy and exaltation remained. It is impossible fully to describe the experience. It was like the effect of some great orchestra when all the separate notes have melted into one swelling harmony that leaves the listener conscious of nothing save that his soul is being wafted upwards, and almost bursting with its own emotion. The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that He was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.

My highest faith in God and truest idea of him were then born in me. I have stood upon the Mount of Vision since, and felt the Eternal round about me. But never since has there come quite the same stirring of the heart. Then, if ever, I believe, I stood face to face with God, and was born anew of his spirit. There was, as I recall it, no sudden change of thought or of belief, except that my early crude conception had, as it were, burst into flower. There was no destruction of the old, but a rapid, wonderful unfolding. Since that time no discussion that I have heard of the proofs of God’s existence has been able to shake my faith. Having once felt the presence of God’s spirit, I have never lost it again for long. My most assuring evidence of his existence is deeply rooted in that hour of vision, in the memory of that supreme experience, and in the conviction, gained from reading and reflection, that something the same has come to all who have found God.

I am aware that it may justly be called mystical. I am not enough acquainted with philosophy to defend it from that or any other charge. I feel that in writing of it I have overlaid it with words rather than put it clearly to your thought. But, such as it is, I have described it as carefully as I now am able to do.”

I knew instantly that it was Jesus – Sania

As I was writing, suddenly I heard a voice calling me by name and saying, “Pray.” I felt as if someone were standing behind me. I heard a man’s voice . . . I just turned back only to see none. “Pray.” This time it kept repeating, “Pray, pray, pray” . . . I really thought, “I am going mad.” I thought I was really becoming mad . . . I really felt something was wrong with me.

So I just closed my eyes, sitting on my chair. For the first time in my life, never had I seen such a thing. I saw with my eyes closed; I saw the whole room and everything. Near my table, I saw one person was standing—a huge, tall person—but I could not see the face. His face was bright, very bright. . The garment itself was very bright. I knew it was a person, but I could not see the face. I knew instantly that it was Jesus. Now he did not say, “I am Jesus”—nothing! I knew in my heart immediately that it was Jesus. I did not have any doubt. I never had any doubt. I did not even question myself. I cannot explain that feeling! I just knew it was Jesus. The next moment, I was on my knees. I just fell down. I just fell, on my own; I fell down. I was sobbing and crying and crying and crying and crying because I felt very dirty.

The brightness—whatever the bright thing was, the brightness around me. I looked at myself in my vision. I was seeing; I was looking at myself. I was full of dirt. I felt I was so poor inside of me. Since I come from a rich family, I never lacked anything. I never had such kind of feeling. But that day I felt I was very poor. I felt I had too much of pride. I never knew that I had all these things. But I was crying and crying, sobbing and sobbing on my knees. I remember saying, “I do not know who you are, but Jesus, I need you. I know I need you in my life because I am very poor—I cannot handle it. I am very poor on my own. I cannot do anything. I need you.” I did not realize at the time that I was born again. I was crying and then the vision disappeared.

I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is, on the contrary, a living Presence – Richard

I had spent the evening in the city, with two friends, reading and discussing poetry and philosophy. We parted at midnight. I had a long drive back. My mind, deeply under the influence of the ideas, images, and emotions called up by the reading and talk, was calm and peaceful. I was in a state of quiet, almost passive enjoyment, not actually thinking, but letting ideas, images, and emotions flow of themselves, as it were, through my mind.

All at once, without warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud. For an instant I thought of fire, an immense conflagration somewhere close by in the city; the next, I knew that the fire was within myself. Directly afterward there came upon me a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination impossible to describe.

Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, but I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is, on the contrary, a living Presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then; I saw that all men are immortal; that the cosmic order is such that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world, of all the worlds, is what we call love, and that the happiness of each and all is in the long run absolutely certain.

The vision lasted a few seconds and was gone; but the memory of it and the sense of the reality of what it taught has remained during the quarter of a century which has since elapsed. I knew that what the vision showed was true. I had attained to a point of view from which I saw that it must be true. That view, that conviction, I may say that consciousness, has never, even during periods of the deepest depression, been lost.

I felt an explosion of the most ardent joy – Al

I did not know where I was: I did not know whether I was myself or another. I only felt myself changed and believed myself another me; I looked for myself in myself and did not find myself. In the bottom of my soul I felt an explosion of the most ardent joy; I could not speak; I had no wish to reveal what had happened. All that I can say is that in an instant the bandage had fallen from my eyes, and not one bandage only, but the whole manifold of bandages in which I had been brought up. One after another they rapidly disappeared, even as the mud and ice disappear under the rays of the burning sun.

I came out as from a sepulchre, from an abyss of darkness; and I was living, perfectly living. But I wept, for at the bottom of that gulf I saw the extreme of misery from which I had been saved by an infinite mercy; and I shuddered at the sight of my iniquities, stupefied, melted, overwhelmed with wonder and with gratitude.

You may ask me how I came to this new insight, for truly I had never opened a book of religion. But how came I, then, to this perception of it? I can answer nothing save this, that before I was in darkness altogether, and after I saw the fullness of the light. I can explain the change no better than by the simile of a profound sleep or the analogy of one born blind who should suddenly open his eyes to the day. He sees, but cannot define the light which bathes him and by means of which he sees the objects which excite his wonder.

If we cannot explain physical light, how can we explain the light which is the truth itself? And I think I remain within the limits of veracity when I say that without having any knowledge of the letter of religious doctrine, I now intuitively perceived its sense and spirit. Better than if I saw them, I felt those hidden things; I felt them by the inexplicable effects they produced in me. It all happened in my interior mind, and those impressions, more rapid than thought shook my soul, revolved and turned it, as it were, in another direction, towards other aims, by other paths. I express myself badly. But do you wish, God, that I should in close in poor and barren words sentiments which the heart alone can understand?”

…it appeared to me as if I was in heaven on earth – Stephen

“At first, I began to feel my heart beat very quickly, which made me at first think that perhaps something is going to make me ill, though I was not alarmed, for I felt no pain. My heart increased in its beating, I began to feel exceedingly happy and humble, and such a sense of unworthiness as I never felt before. I could not very well help speaking out, which I did, and said, God, I do not deserve this happiness. Then, what felt like a stream of air came into my mouth and continued for five minutes or more. It took complete possession of me. I knew it was God from the effect it had on me.  I desired God not to give me any more happiness, for it seemed as if I could not contain what I had got. My heart seemed as if it would burst, but it did not calm until I felt as if I was unutterably full of the love and the grace of God. In that moment my body was under the control of the God within me. I was so happy, but I feared I should lose it. As my heart calmed and it appeared to me as if I was in heaven on earth.”