Keep Going, or Slide Back?
It’s almost cliché to say it. “If you’re not going forward, then you’re going backward.” Truer words couldn’t be spoken about the spiritual life. In Her wisdom, the Church gives us different seasons of the year. In Lent and Advent, we fast. At Easter and Christmas, we celebrate! But what about those other times of the year?
As Exodus Men, we understand the penitential seasons. During Exodus 90 and Lent, Advent, and now St Michael’s Lent, we grow closer to God and become better men through a disciplined life of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. But what happens when the penitential seasons are over? Do we keep moving toward the Lord or slide backward into slavery and sin?
Fall 2022 is the answer to these questions and is your guide to keep moving forward in the last bit of Ordinary Time leading up to Advent. It proposes a simple and sustainable Rule of Life and offers formational readings each day. Fall isn’t a penitential season. You don’t need to take cold showers or live a life of intense asceticism–just take up a little bit of the Exodus Lifestyle daily. The Christian life isn’t something you’re called to live for 40 or 90 days at a time–it’s for life! Keep up the good work that Christ has begun in you, and keep growing in freedom and formation. Every day.
This seasonal starts on September 29 (St Michael’s Day) and leads up to the start of Advent. Check out the Fall 2022 Overview and enroll to join this seasonal!
Fall 2022 Readings & Rule of Life
Each day of Fall 2022, we’ll have a short formation reading on various topics. We’ll meditate on the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), reflect on letting go of unhealthy attachments, observe All Souls Day with solemnity, and conclude by learning how to find Christ in great literature.
Rule of Life for Fall 2022
- Offer up 20 minutes of silent prayer each day
- Make a nightly examen
- Abstain from meat on Fridays
- Meet with your Fraternity regularly
- Check in with your Anchor regularly
- Make a small act of asceticism each day (changes halfway through):
- Abstain from Complaining (Days 1-34)
- Stand Cruciform for 3 minutes each day (Days 35-59)
Fraternity in Fall 2022
During this season, we’ll continue to live a life of Christian fraternity but with a more sustainable cadence.
- Meet with your Fraternity regularly. While meeting weekly is always best, biweekly is also a workable cadence for the Fall. Be deliberate and attentive. The surest way to keep moving forward is to be held accountable.
- Check in with your Anchor regularly. A short text message or phone call is all it takes. How’s your prayer going? Did you make the small act of asceticism each day?
This is a great opportunity to keep your St Michael’s Lent fraternity meeting regularly. It might also be a great excuse to call up last year’s Exodus 90 brothers and invite them to start meeting afresh.
Building Christian Community
If you don’t yet have a fraternity, you’ll want to invite a few brothers to join you for this season and keep you accountable. Here are a few tried and true steps to building Christian community:
- Ask the Lord. In a moment of prayerful reflection, ask the Lord whom you should invite to join you for Fall 2022. Have a pencil in hand and then write down the name of every man who comes to mind. Don’t say “no” on any man’s behalf. If he comes to mind during this exercise, he needs an invitation.
- Pray and fast for your brothers. After you’ve made your list, begin praying for each man by name. Ask the Lord to move each man to be open to accepting your invitation. And offer daily, small acts of self-denial for your potential brothers. Forego a dessert, take a cold shower, or fast from a meal and offer it up for your brothers.
- Make the ask. Make personal invitations to each man. In-person is the best way to make an invitation, but a phone call can also work. Explain why you want to observe Fall 2022 and why you want this man to join you.
- Follow up. After you’ve made your invitation, continue to pray and fast for your brothers and make sure you follow up on your invitation. You don’t need to be pushy, but make sure you get an answer from each man. “Yes” or “no”–don’t let radio silence count as a response.
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