Grow deeper in love with our Eucharistic Lord with our Free Eucharist Course starting July 31, 2024

Jesus has given us a means for his power and grace to be always present to us: the Eucharist, the Sacrament of his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In this Blessed Sacrament, he remains with us always “until the end of time.” But why does it seem ineffective? Truth is, we face a serious problem in the Church, brothers. Our Eucharistic Lord has not only been neglected too often, but many have abandoned the belief in his true presence. This July, we face an important decision regarding how we honor and worship Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist—and our content will revolve around it.

From July 17th to the 21st, we will be at the National Eucharistic Congress, which the Church of the United States has put together to bring about a Eucharistic Revival in our dioceses and parishes. Join our founder and CEO, Jamie Baxter, who will be giving a talk on how Jesus is the icon of manhood. The Exodus Team and other Exodus men will be present, so make sure to stop by our booth if you’re in Indianapolis for the event!

In our July exercise, we will be focusing on the type of men God calls us to be as we grow in reverence to the Most Holy Eucharist. Being Eucharistic men entails being transformed into free men capable of loving God and neighbor as Jesus loved—“to the end.” It is a process of being made whole in the image of Jesus. But this begins with the way we worship. When we center our lives around our Eucharistic Lord and intentionally prepare for Holy Communion, he showers us with graces upon graces. The exercise will include daily calls to action to help us prepare for Mass and Holy Communion.

To complement this month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, our Director of Content, Dr. Jared Staudt, will offer a weekly course on the Eucharist starting July 31st. He will explain what the Eucharist is and its prominent role in transforming our lives, communities, and, ultimately, culture itself.

Finally, the summer months can be challenging, as they force us to change our prayer routines, which can throw us off guard. We invite you to review your Plan of Life and make any necessary changes, keeping in mind vacations and other events.

Here’s how it works exactly:

🙏 Prayer
Read the Daily Reflections
20 Minutes of Silent Prayer
Examine your Day
Make one Holy Hour each week
Celebrate the Lord’s Day
Why?

The most important part of our Plan of Life is prayer. Making time for prayer each day is essential. Yes, we need other spiritual disciplines, which help us to become the men we are called to be. But, if we are not first transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ from within, everything is off and destined for failure.

Prayer is conversation with God. And it’s not so unlike our normal human interactions and relationships. It is through prayer that we enter into our relationship with God, and as Fr. Boniface Hicks writes in Personal Prayer, vulnerability “is the key to the most fruitful prayer” and “the meeting point of God and man.” We listen. We hear. We share. We ask. We dream.

If you have been journeying with us throughout Exodus 90, Lent, and Easter, hopefully you have grown in your capacity and confidence in prayer. It’s important that we build upon this foundation. Our Scripture readings have been taken from the letters of Saint Peter, and our reflections will help us to enter into the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

In addition to reading or listening to the daily Scripture and reflection, we encourage you to spend at least twenty minutes in silent prayer, and to commit to one holy hour per week. If you can pray more than that, by all means, please do. Consider this to be a baseline for daily communion with God. In addition, offer your first thoughts to God with a morning offering and your last thoughts to God in a nightly examen. You can find support for these prayers here. Consider adding other prayers like a Rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet, and other spiritual reading as personal disciplines for your plan of life.

From experience, most men find it easier to pray early in the morning or late at night, and it is most likely to happen if we schedule our prayer time and make it a priority in our Plan of Life each day. With our Plan of Life as a helpful guide, we can be sure to put the most important thing as the foundation of our days.

🚿 Asceticism
Cold Shower Fridays
No Meat Fridays
Why?

“If any wish to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Asceticism means acts of self-denial. Though often underemphasized in our time, all throughout Church history we see in teaching and in the lives of the saints the importance of asceticism in the life of the apprentice of Jesus Christ.

It is obviously not our Father’s plan for us to return to patterns of sin nor are we to indulge to the point of excess.. As our Spiritual Guide, Jake Khym, wisely writes:

Binge-ing is rooted in distrust and self-reliance. Feasting is rooted in trust and security. If I am trying to fill an empty hole in my heart or manage my distress that I don’t trust can be taken care of by authentic love, then I’m likely to try to satisfy myself. This self-reliance can often be the root of binge-ing. Feasting isn’t about self-reliance; it’s about celebration for and with others that have trust and security as a foundation. So much of this comes down to the honest desire and intention of our heart.

Because we have and continue to practice forms of asceticism, we are able to enter more deeply into celebration as only Christians can. Self-denial disposes our souls to the joy, peace, and freedom of the central event of human history: the Resurrection. And because God invites us into his family through the Church, our celebrations should be in common with our brothers and sisters. We encourage you to extend the bonds of brotherhood that you have formed into the Easter season with a celebratory feast to mark the moment with your families and friends.

Our baseline Plan of Life during the Summer includes a few small acts of asceticism including Cold Shower Fridays and No Meat Fridays. We encourage you to take time to add other disciplines to your Plan of Life, which will help you to raise your soul and heart to God.

It’s important to remember that asceticism is not about proving something to yourself, showing that you are strong enough to others, or earning God’s grace. Asceticism is a means to something far more important than it. St. Jerome, in the fourth century, said it perfectly: “Be on your guard when you begin to mortify your body by abstinence and fasting, lest you imagine yourself to be perfect and a saint; for perfection does not consist in this virtue. It is only a help; a disposition; a means though a fitting one, for the attainment of true perfection.” True perfection consists in loving God and neighbor, and asceticism leads to that perfection.

All too often, we have powerful experiences of the penitential seasons, only to find ourselves let down and disappointed in the seasons of celebration. It shouldn’t be this way. This problem, which we have all experienced, is the reason we will continue our Plan of Life during the Summer months, as a helpful guide to support you throughout this season of feasting and celebration. This year can be different.

✌️ Fraternity
Regular Fraternity Meeting
If you need help building your brotherhood, check out the NEW Community tab on the Exodus 90 app where you can see local fraternities near you, or you can join a remote fraternity on the app as well.
Why?

There are many treasures that men find lying within Exodus spiritual exercises. One of the most common is the brotherhood that naturally forms from the experience.

Men find themselves in the bonds of brotherhood through accomplishing a task. Having pursued a life of freedom through prayer and asceticism over the past few months, the bonds of true Christian brotherhood that form can endure for years. If your fraternity experience was not what you had hoped, the Summertime is a great time to invite a few men into fraternity with you.

The most common question that men ask is how often they should meet with their fraternity. This question is most appropriately answered by you. How often is realistic? You may be able to continue meeting each week, or you may need the cadence to be every other week or once per month.

What’s important is that we do not go back to the isolation that so many men suffer from today. Alone we are so susceptible to the whims, temptations, and empty show of the devil. We need to have brothers who know who we are, what we are going through, and to whom we can be accountable.

Exodus fraternities are one of the few places in the world where men can open up and be honest with each other. It’s not about who you know, what you have accomplished, or how you’ve got it all together. Exodus fraternities are meant to be the opposite of this worldly perspective of masculinity. Exodus fraternities are the place to be real about the struggles that we all experience as men today in our secular world.

Remember that it is never too late to invite a man into your fraternity, even in the Summer months. Please pray about who you should invite, and when the Holy Spirit invites you to invite a man that surprises you, please do not say “no.” Exodus fraternities are not places for perfect Catholic or Christian men. Because none of us are. Invite the man that God places on your heart, whether he practices the faith or not, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

🚀 Encouragement
We live in a fallen world, and challenges exist in every age because of the consequences of sin and the influence of the devil. And this will always be the case. A Christian vision does not seek utopia, which is non-existent and literally means “no-place,” but for the coming of God’s kingdom in the fullness of time when every tear will be wiped away and death will be no more.

However, the challenges of our secular age are immense, and we all feel it.

We live in the first age after the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, that lives without him, in the growing unbelief that is plaguing the western world today.

When we look out, into the world and even into the realities of the Church, it’s so common for men to lose hope. Is this what God meant for his people? What would our fathers in the faith think, they who shed their blood to preserve it? “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

It’s common to despair, and to become critical, cynical, and sarcastic. And it’s easy to sit around and wait for our leaders to do something about it.

But, men, this is our time…

This is the time that our Father, in his perfect and loving providence, has entrusted to each one of us. We were not created for the past, or the future, but for now.

What’s uncommon for men today, is to embrace the opportunity that lies in every challenge and to do something about it; what’s uncommon is to take to the ancient path that you have begun to trod in prayer, asceticism, and fraternity; and what’s uncommon then, is to respond as generously as possible to the unique graces and gifts that God bestows uniquely upon you.

The influence of a good and holy man like you, who receives his identity from God as a son, and who then shares the love of God with those that have been entrusted to his care (especially his wife, children, brothers and sisters in the faith, and local community), cannot be measured.

There is literally no greater influence on whether or not a child will practice the faith as an adult as the faithfulness of their father. Which is to say that the fruits of a faithful man’s life redound to generations and into eternity with invisible and everlasting power.
It is no wonder that the authentic Christian vision of masculinity has been attacked, warped, and forgotten over the past many decades. Because the faith of the future depends upon you, the fathers of the faith.

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