My Exodus Story
I’ve been a Catholic my whole life — and I’ve always been a practicing Catholic. In high school and college, I grew in my faith, but in my second year after graduating from college, I felt like something needed to change.
In prayer, I felt like the Lord was leading me to the edge of a cliff and telling me to trust in Him and jump. I didn’t know what the act of faith was yet, but for weeks I felt this way. I felt like my life was in a slump — the same old thing each day and each week.
In late December, I got a text from a fellow member of the graduate program I was in — he was inviting me to do Exodus 90 with him and some other guys from our program. As soon as I saw the text, I knew this was the leap the Lord was inviting me to take. I was afraid, but I was tired of the rut, so I said yes.
The grace the Lord gave me to say ‘yes’ in December of 2020 has changed my life. Through that first Exodus experience, extended, personal, silent prayer became a daily staple of my life for the first time. It was the unlocking of a whole new world. During that first Exodus, I received a job offer that was what I had been dreaming of for years.
But in Holy Hour one day while praying about it, praying from the space of sonship and trust (in imitation of Moses) that the Exodus reflection encouraged us to pray in, the Lord called me not to take the job. And in the same sentence, He called me to discern priesthood. I wrestled with that insight I received in prayer, but through discussion with friends and especially my anchor partner, I had the grace to trust the Lord’s call, decline the job offer, and start discerning seminary.
I entered seminary in August of 2022, and now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I don’t want to say that I wouldn’t be in seminary without Exodus, because the Lord can call us how He chooses. But He called me through Exodus 90. If I hadn’t been practicing Holy Hours for two months, I don’t know if I would have been attuned to hear the Lord’s call to discern seminary. I am so grateful for Exodus and how it has helped me discern God’s call in my life.
Beyond my call to seminary, Exodus has changed what it means to pray in my life. As we neared day 91, my anchor partner and I had serious discussions about what we wanted to keep in our life from Exodus. We had both tasted freedom and did not want to return to slavery.
The first and most important thing was Holy Hour – we agreed that it needed to be a part of our life every day until we die. Secondly, we knew fasting was a powerful tool for discipline and intense prayer, and we agreed to keep Friday fasts a constant presence (except for solemnities, of course). And there were other things we took from that first Exodus experience – too many to count or list here.
Lastly, Exodus gave me my best friend. The guy from my graduate program who invited me to Exodus was also my anchor partner, and we quickly went from program acquaintances to good friends. Beyond the 90 days and into day 91, to this day, we continue to regularly check in with each other, pray for each other, hold each other accountable, and build each other up in the Christian life.
He has become the true Christian friend that St. Francis de Sales speaks of in Introduction to the Devout Life. God has given me so much grace through that friendship – a friendship that, again, I probably wouldn’t have without Exodus.
After that first Exodus experience, I led a fraternity the next year – both with some high school juniors and seniors that I taught at a Catholic high school as well as a group of adult men in the community. At the end of that Exodus (April 2022) everyone shared about their newfound freedom and their hopes for continuing it.
Who knows if these men would have done Exodus if my friend had never invited me in 2020?
I am unspeakably grateful for Exodus 90. I have found a freedom I did not know existed and am striving towards even greater freedom in Christ. I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood and religious life. I have an invaluable treasure in my first anchor partner, a true Christian friend.
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