What occurred to me during my first Exodus was how interconnected we all are. I started to see how my virtue or lack thereof affected those I was in a relationship with. My faith is not just between myself and God — it’s communal. Sin — missing the mark of who God created me to be — always affects others directly or indirectly by habituating my will towards selfishness and impeding my ability to love truly.
During those first 90 days, I found myself more free from distractions and attachments and able to be more present with others, especially my wife and children.
By Day 91, I felt like I was living a more full, intentional, and purposeful life, and I wanted to share the freedom and peace I experienced during and after Exodus 90 with others.
Additionally, it seemed like many men in my parish were isolated and lacked virtuous friendships with other men. Exodus 90 appealed to the hearts of men and fostered deep, lasting relationships that sought virtue. It was something every man could use more of in their life.
Asceticism is an integral part of the Christian life and is a foreign idea to many in the church today. The disciplines were intimidating to some and probably the biggest hurdle to men deciding to go through Exodus. Those same disciplines, however, set Exodus apart from other programs for men and the aspect that intrigued many men.
I often don’t live up to the ideals I strive towards, but I at least have a North Star to which I can reorient myself when I get off course. And, of course, a fraternity to hold me accountable.
Jonathan Titus is a dentist in Carmel, Ind. He and his wife have five sons and attend Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
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