Life AFTER Exodus
What Does Day 91 Look Like?
Men nearing the completion of a very challenging program of asceticism, prayer and fraternity, begin looking forward to “life after Exodus”. Many men are surprised that exiting Exodus after 90 days can be much more challenging than entering Exodus at day one. Also of note is the realization that, perhaps, the daily regimen of Exodus seems more in keeping with the Christian life than not. Whatever one’s personal experience, no man wants to lose what he has gained from this experience.
Using the metaphor of a commercial jet, consider the past 90 days as barreling down the runway at ever increasing speed – a speed fast enough to raise thousands of pounds of steel, machinery and cargo into the air. At day 90, wheels are up and the jet roars into the sky. All is well! However, one must be cautious as mechanical failure, wind sheers, pilot error, computer failure, mid-air collisions, or even terrorists, can bring the jet crashing down again. Celebrate lifting off the tarmac, but be cautious that nothing sabotages your success!
Thus, TCM began looking at “Day 91” in order to make suggestions and assist participants to craft a “life after Exodus” that will be marked by continued growth and well-preserved personal freedom. Fraternity will be stressed continuously throughout Day 91. We urge you to maintain the fraternity that you have built and suggest meeting regularly as the method to hold one another accountable, preserve interior freedom and use your team’s manpower for the good of others.
Standard: Allow Day 91 to be built upon four principle fundamentals: prayer, asceticism, study and fraternity.
I) Prayer is not easy for men, and tremendously difficult in the modern era. One must be intentional; making a point to reserve a determined amount of time for prayer, Scripture, Mass and/or simple time with God. Hopefully, the past 90 days has demonstrated the inestimable value of prayer to a man’s life.
II) Asceticism is key. The Desert Fathers often urged each other not to “get up from a meal satisfied”. The point is simple: when a man makes accommodations for his passions and desires, his body grows in conflict to his intellect and, well, disaster may follow. Some have advised that regularly keeping just one discipline will keep a man in freedom. On the contrary, it is much better to reduce the intensity, but to maintain most of the disciplines to some degree. This can feel somewhat negative, but if the result is continued and enhanced freedom; it is worth the sacrifice.
III) Study will increasingly become important the more secular our culture becomes. Not only will you need to recall all the treasures of wisdom in the Church, but, very likely, you will need to be teaching those around you. If this knowledge is shared with joy and conviction, you may well impact the lives of these people in a very positive way. TCM believes that every Catholic man should be familiar with the content of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
IV) Fraternity is necessary to make certain that all of the above happens well. It is also one of the most blessed aspects of a man’s life. Most men lack even one friend and never know the joy of a hiking trip or a camping trip with buddies. Most will never sit under the stars and around a campfire to engage real and meaningful conversation with his brothers. Most will never have a brother to call on in an emergency or in a time of weakness. Above all, preserve the fraternity that you have established.
As you have come to learn, fraternity is essential to the Exodus program as well as to Christian men. We urge you to make your fraternity a non-negotiable priority. Contemporary men seldom come together to “relate” to one another or to “share” their life with each other. They will, however, eagerly come together in order to accomplish a task or to engage in a meaningful activity. We urge you to focus and solidify your time together by making outreach a priority. Brothers should examine each other’s lives to determine whether their personal freedom is at risk and whether that freedom has been placed at the service of others. We highly recommend the Church’s Works of Mercy as an essential part of your future association.
Men coming together represent a powerful force. TCM urges you and your brothers to use that power for the good of others. We are suggesting that the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy be the essence of your fraternity – a quiet and effective outreach to your families, your parish and to your community.