Pilgrim Queen January, 2018 Pilgrimage
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“My goal in 2018 is to accomplish the goals I set in 2017 which I should have done in 2016 because I made a promise in 2015 which I planned in 2012.” ​

I saw this post by The Minds Journal and think I should adopt it as my New Year’s resolution. Unless I resolve to stop making New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes that seems like the more accurate resolution. Because, for the most part, I’m not willing to do the things I really should resolve to do. Like eat healthily--I’m rather attached to chips and wine. Or exercise daily--nah, not very interested in the whole cardio thing. I could try to get organized, but whenever I start that I end up making a mess out of my entire house.

Then there are the spiritual resolutions. They’re even worse. Fasting? But that involves feeling hungry. Wake up early to have more prayer time? Maybe tomorrow. Nightly examination of conscience? My brain shuts down around 8, so my conscience doesn’t have a chance. It seems that my unwillingness blocks any grace heading my way. Perhaps the best resolution for me is to tell God: “I’m willing to be made willing.”

Testifying Saints

"If there is something you cannot and dare not surrender, then pray this prayer: ‘Lord, will you make me willing to be made willing to surrender completely?’ If you pray this, your loving Saviour is going to do it.”
From Corrie ten Boom’s, Not I But Christ.

Corrie ten Boom grew up in Haarlem, Netherlands and lived there with her parents into adulthood. Although she longed for a husband and children, she never married. Instead she became the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands, working with her father in the family business. Besides her full time employment, Corrie undertook many ministries in her church and community. One was a youth group for girls; another was a Sunday church service for children with intellectual disabilities.

In May of 1940 the German blitzkrieg ran through the Netherlands and began the “Nazification” of the Dutch people. German occupation soon disrupted Corrie’s ministries. She was ordered to dismantle the girls’ club. Corrie also noticed that every week fewer children were coming to her Sunday service. They were being taken away from their parents and placed in state institutions for the intellectually disabled. Jewish people were also being arrested.

In 1942 a Jewish woman arrived at the ten Boom home with a suitcase. She had heard that the ten Booms had helped their Jewish neighbors, so perhaps they would help her. In response the family opened their “Hiding Place” as a refuge for Jews and members of the Dutch underground. A secret room, about the size of a wardrobe closet, was built behind a wall in Corrie’s bedroom. About six people, standing quietly and still, could hide in this spot when Nazi security swept through the neighborhood. During 1943 and into 1944, there were usually about seven people living illegally in the ten Boom home as Corrie searched for Dutch families willing to take in the refugees. Corrie ten Boom and her family were responsible for saving the lives of approximately 800 Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

On February 28, 1944, the Gestapo raided the ten Boom home, seizing everyone who came into the house throughout the day. In the end 35 people were taken into custody, including all ten members of the ten Boom family. Corrie and her sister Betsie spent 10 months in three different prisons. While Betsie died in Ravensbruck Prison Camp, Corrie was released 15 day later. Corrie later learned that her release was due to a clerical error; the next week all women in her age group were sent to the gas chambers. Regarding the six refugees hidden in the ten Boom home, the Germans never found them.  After three days of standing still in the cramped space, they were rescued by the Dutch underground.

Corrie grew up reading the bible and praying with her family. Amazingly enough she was able to continue this tradition while prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. During their arrest, while waiting to be registered and escorted to jail, her father Casper recited ​Psalm 119: "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. . . . Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” In prison Betsie and Corrie were able to continue reading scripture, as miraculously Corrie’s Bible that she wore in a pouch around her neck was never confiscated. She even retained it after a strip search. Soon Betsie and Corrie were ministering to the other prisoners. As Corrie later wrote: “One thing became increasingly clear: the reason the two of us were here. From morning until lights-out, whenever we were not in ranks for roll call, our Bible was the center of an ever-widening circle of help and hope. Like waifs clustered around a blazing fire, we gathered about it, holding out our hearts to its warmth and light. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God.”

Everyday Examples: 

The Hiding Place​, written by Corrie ten Boom

Advice for making New Year’s resolutions

Rescuing children from sex trafficking

How a mother of 13 lost 100 pounds nGM8

Kid's Corner: 

You don’t have to have some special talent for God to use you to build up His kingdom. As a kid, Corrie ten Boom didn’t look like she would become a heroine. She wasn’t the class brainiac, super sports star or prettiest girl in her grade. But she did the thing most likely to form a heroine--she spoke and listened to God. When Corrie thought that God was telling her to do something, she did it. Even when she didn’t know exactly where God was leading her, she went forward. When God has something for us to do, He doesn’t give us a detailed map or list of directions. He usually doesn’t even give us more than one step at a time. He expects us to trust Him even when we don’t know the way. Some parts we can always know--Jesus speaks to us in the Bible; the Church teaches us how to live as God’s children; the Ten Commandments are God’s way of showing us how to stay safe. By using these tools God gives us, we too can become heroes for Him.

Marian Moments

If there’s one saint who can teach us about willingness, it’s Our Lady. Mary was always completely open to God. Like Corrie ten Boom, she seemed to be an ordinary woman. As a matter of fact, she would have been considered pretty unsuitable in the eyes of the world: a poor, young unwed mother. Yet she would become the greatest heroine of all time. Because of her willingness, God gave her the greatest calling he could give any human being, that of becoming the Mother of God. And she’s not only God’s mother, she’s our mother as well. She’s our heroine, as she rescues us from the evil one.

We invite you to make an investment in bringing the Pilgrim Queen of the Family to many more families.
Monthly visitation of Mary to our homes is a simple and effective way to invite Her Son deeper in our daily lives. Don't miss this opportunity and donate today!

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