A blog for Catholic men that seeks to encourage virtue, the pursuit of holiness and the art of true masculinity.
A Call for Renewal in the Church
December 22, 2023
Something is not right. Many of us feel something is missing from our lives. We long for a fresh start, a way of breaking out of our bad habits, and a path to living a more meaningful life. We’re oversaturated with technology. Our minds are distracted, our desires distorted, and we’re disconnected from others. But the truth is, we don’t have to surrender to mediocrity. This January 1st, we can do something to make a lasting change.
Exodus 90 offers a ninety-day journey to freedom using the proven methods of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity, a path laid out by Jesus’s mentoring of his disciples and embraced by monks throughout the centuries. It’s not enough just to get rid of bad influences, we need to fill our lives with what matters most. First, that is God, and then, flowing from our encounter with him, a more robust life of Christian community.
Over the ninety days leading to Easter, thousands of men will make their Exodus from the domination of modern day pharaohs, found in those things that keep us back from living freely as sons of God. Just as God led Israel out of Egypt, so he can lead us to embrace the joy and peace he intends for us. He wants us to embrace of life of uncommon freedom rooted in the gift of sonship.
Exodus 90 does entail embracing challenges, such as cold showers, a media fast, and abstaining from alcohol, among other disciplines. But it is more than just self denial. Its heart is found in a daily holy hour, time given to the Lord to work within us. More than anything else, Exodus is a spiritual journey of discovering the man God wants us to become in him. The ascetical disciplines simply clear the way so that we can focus more on him and those around us.
We cannot discover freedom on our own. We need brotherhood. Exodus draws us together with other men who also desire the the same freedom we seek. The devil divides us and keeps us in isolation where it is much easier to continue to prey upon us. God draws us into communion, uniting us in prayer and enabling us to support each other. Exodus offers men the chance to meet weekly for this support, bolstered by brief daily check-ins with an anchor.
When we keep the goal of a free life in mind–the ability to love God and others more fully–it gives us the strength we need to take up our cross on this journey. All of the sacrifices become an expression of love and a means of purifying us. Rather than seeking comfort and distraction in pleasure, we must turn to God, growing in trust and reliance on him.
Each day we’ll start with a reading from Scripture, taken from the books of Exodus, Joshua, and Matthew to trace a journey of freedom from slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land, which is a life under God’s protection. Jesus completed his own Exodus through his Passion and Death, and we will walk with him during Holy Week at the culmination of our own Exodus to Freedom. Jesus’s perfect sacrifice of himself to the Father becomes our ultimate model and guide for the new life we seek.
We’ll also be supported by a wise Spiritual Guide, Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB, who will be offering weekly reflections to help us along the way. As someone who lives this vision within a monastic community, he will be able to offer us support on how to pray, how to persevere through difficulties, how to grow in our ability to share our faith, and how to help our fraternity brothers.
This January 1st, make the best New Year’s resolution of your life and start your own Exodus journey to freedom. Consider inviting other men you know to join your fraternity so that you can walk this path together. Embrace the freedom God offers you by letting go of what enslaves you and begin to “live different,” supported by daily prayer, spiritual disciplines, and the help of your brothers in the faith.