Another terrible night. It was raining so hard I didn’t dare go to the church. I couldn’t pray. I know very well that the desire to pray is already prayer, and that God couldn’t ask for more. But it wasn’t a question of duty. At that moment, I needed prayer like I needed air in my lungs or oxygen in my blood. Behind me, there was no longer familiar day-to-day life which one can leave behind in one fell swoop. Behind me there was nothing, and before me was a wall. A black wall. Suddenly something seemed to shatter in my breast, and I was seized by a trembling that lasted over an hour. What if it had only been an illusion? Even the saints knew their hour of failure and loss.
— Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest