The Heart of Love

Prayers, Poetry, Divine Inspiration by Gail Swanson


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A Little Testimony Part 1

The vision that changed my whole life has been that which has sustained me through every dark night of the soul and endless days of unbearable physical suffering.

During the time I was experiencing divine guidance from Mary Magdalene I was also blessed to feel the presence of Padre Pio and St. Therese of Lisieux. Later Joan of Arc aided me in countless ways. 

In the last few years my physical condition has become more serious and there are times when the suffering is so great I am sure I can not possibly make it another hour. I weep from the depths of my soul as the feeling of illness and doom is beyond anything I can cope with.

It is then that I turn to the saints and listen while lying in my bed to the stories of their lives. When you are suffering it is impossible not to think constantly of all beings who are suffering. When you feel you may very well be coming to the end of your life you think constantly of all your shortcomings and all your regrets. When you suffer from an illness for years and years on end you become like an island. Everyone seems to drift further and further away as you struggle to keep up with your every day life.

It has been a long journey to reach the age of seventy. It has been difficult yes, but it has also been miraculous. As I lived each day not knowing if I would be sick or well I also did not know what miracle would occur to save me. The blessings that have been showered upon me have only strengthened my belief and my faith. 

There have been long, dry periods where it seems there is no consolation and there have been times of incredible and miraculous wonder where I have been blessed with the gift of The Holy Spirit. 

I have been at my best friend’s bedside as she spent her last days on this earth. I have been shown the meaning of her suffering and the visitation of her guardian angels bequeathing her more time. I have seen the sorrow and the glory of death. I am not afraid to die. It is living we must overcome.

And so at the age of seventy I wish to put to paper where this journey has led me. Is there a meaning in our suffering that is beyond our comprehension? Yes there is. Are the saints in communion with Jesus  and feel what he feels? Yes they do. Are we part of that sanctified communion? Yes we are. Does your suffering and overcoming aid people anywhere in the world who need aid? Yes it does. 

In 2001 I had a vision. This event turned my life upside down and inside out. Mary Magdalene asked me to tell a part of the story. As I listened and wrote all kinds of miraculous things began to happen. The illness coexisted side by side with the miracles. There are  reasons why this happens. Now after all these years and all I have experienced I wish to acknowledge and share the meaning, as I have come to know it, in the agony of suffering and the glory of the grace of Heaven.

Photograph – A gift from Saint Padre Pio

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The Dark Night

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I knew it was coming. There was a miracle on it’s way. I knew it was time. I knew it was predestined. I felt prepared but there can be no preparation for a spiritual breakdown. There can be no preparation for moving back and forward in time where everything is collapsing and emerging at exactly the same time. At first you are as if in a dream because it is truly a dream like state. You feel completely detached as if you are on an island looking through a periscope and everything looks so small and insignificant and at the same time silently underneath volcanoes are erupting.

There was nothing to grab onto. There was no frame of reference. There were elements of the dark night. I was lost in a sea of complete detachment and yet the most excruciating emotion. I have never felt so alone. I have never felt more as if I were fighting desperately for something I was not even sure of.

Everything I have ever been came clamoring. Everything I wish to be was before me and yet I remained in this limbo for weeks unsure of everything and everyone. There was no thinking. There was just surviving. This was a state of being. This was a physical, mental, spiritual crisis. I am not at all sure how I made it through.

There were no revelations. There were no hints or clues of anything. I was in a void, just being and feeling. I felt completely desperate. I felt I needed to be in a convent or a monastery or a cave. This is what I thought of constantly.

So the miracle was sent. Precious words and memories were exchanged. And then that defining undeniable sentence was spoken. It was quiet and beautiful and then it began to pick up wind and became a tornado swirling all around me.

In an instant it changed everything. Slowly the unraveling began. Systematically the universe responded. Everything I had seen, everything I had heard, seeped into my cells and into my bones. Fight or flight. There is nowhere to run. I am left to weather the storm.

It almost seems like a dream now but it was real and true and necessary. I still do not understand a bit of it and perhaps I never will. I only know that when you call out for years on end “I will do what is asked of me” you better mean it.