Tomorrow morning I’m embarking on a journey, with several of my friends and relatives, called Exodus90. It’s a 90 day period, ending on Holy Saturday, of prayer, asceticism, and community. Thousands of men across the world are doing the same.
While it is primarily spiritual in its goals, its means are primarily “human”, so it fits in perfectly with what I am trying to achieve this year, forming myself as a man.
Here’s the description of the program, taken from their official website:
“I) 90 Days: The 90-day benchmark is not an arbitrary number; it is essential for freedom. That’s the period it takes to re-learn the joy and satisfaction of self-mastery and freedom. Most men consider the 90-day period of purification a manly challenge, something that may have been missing in their lives for a long time. In addition, researchers have found that it takes about 90 days – the length of many rehabilitation models, including AA – for the brain to “reset” itself. Interestingly enough, people in recovery have known this saying forever “90 meetings in 90 days” because when the brain is engaged in a habit for 90 days it becomes easier to do.
II) Prayer: Each man is to commit to a holy hour each day. Minimum: 20 minutes. Where possible this is to take place with the other brothers of the Exodus 90 fraternity. The ninety scriptures from the book of Exodus and the corresponding meditations and action items are meant to guide a man’s prayer throughout the 90 days of Exodus. That said, the presence of our Lady in the Rosary is imperative.
III) Asceticism: cold-lukewarm/short showers; no alcohol; no desserts & sweets; no eating between meals; no soda or sweetened drinks; no television or movies (without permission of group); only music that lifts the soul to God; no televised sports (without permission of group); computer for work/school only; regular and intense exercise; group holy hour & meetings; no major material purchases (beyond toiletries, etc., without permission of group); and seven hours of sleep each night is essential.
IV) Fraternity: The Exodus 90 fraternity consists of 5-7 men and a spiritual director. These fraternities are flesh-and-blood fraternities; not online. We do not connect you with other men. Invite men from the parish, work, or neighborhood to make this journey with you. There’s no better way to revive your Knights of Columbus chapter or your TMIY group as going through this spiritual exercise. And if you do not have a fraternity already, it’s time to be a protagonist and form one. Men are isolated today, and your invitation could be life-changing to someone near you. Also, ask a priest, a man who has already made his Exodus, or another wise man to guide your fraternity. These fraternities are to meet 3 times/week for no more than 30 minutes. Minimum: 1 meeting/week. These meetings are an opportunity for the men to give a self-report for accountability, to receive encouragement from the brotherhood, and wisdom from the mentor.”
So anyway, that’s that. If anyone is interested, I recommend it highly. It’s rough, but the fruits are undeniable.
“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” -Goethe
I found this quote in a book by Matthew Kelly, and the quote has proved itself true each time I strive to put it into practice. Exodus 90 is a bold challenge, and no man takes it on alone!