Some Concerns with the Exodus 90 Program



Exodus 90 is underway for many Catholic men. It is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days these men will take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, along with various other spiritual tasks. I applaud such a penitential spirit.

The inevitable…. HOWEVER…

However, I do have two concerns about Exodus 90 which could use some explaining.

1: Sundays

The Church already has a wise, if not perfect, system of fasting and feasting. Catholics are encouraged to do penance on Wednesdays and Fridays (some add in Saturdays as well). In addition, there are specific periods of penance (Lent, Advent, Ember Days). Feasting occurs on Sundays as well as on major Feast Days and Solemnities (e.g. the Assumption of Mary). There is a built in balance to life.

My problem with Exodus 90 is that, from what I hear, Sundays and Feast days are placed aside. For instance, February 2nd of this year is the Feast of the Presentation, as well as a Sunday. It is a significant day in the Church’s liturgical year. Christ, the Light, is placed before us. Not celebrating with food, or even a warm shower, seems contrary to the joyful nature of the day. Willingly choosing to set aside the wise liturgical heritage handed on to us (hello Paul VI) is not, I believe, prudent. Hard penance on an obviously joyful feast day is a mistake.

2. Money

My jaw hit the floor when I found out participants in Exodus 90 are charged $10/month. Must everything cost?! Even fasting?! Should I charge people for reading my poor website? It does cost me $17 (US) to run it every year, after all.

Yes, I get that it costs money to run a website, have a coordinator, and develop a suitable app. Still though, I don’t recall ever spending $10 to utilize an app, much less $10/month on one. Perhaps seeking donations would be a better approach. As it stands right now, charging $10/month just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

(Bonus) Regnum Christi

Seriously, what on Earth!?! The Exodus 90 website has Regnum Christi listed as an aid/sponsor. Regnum Christi is part of the Legionaries of Christ, a most-dysfunctional Order founded by the nefarious Father Maciel (Father in more than just the priestly sense). The Legionaries organization should be burned to the ground and peed on (and not necessarily in that order).

* * *
Once again, I do applaud a return to the spirit of penance. I sincerely hope these hesitations I have concerning Exodus 90 can be addressed in due time.

Image taken from Express Plumbing Services Website


Comments

  1. I'm doing Exodus 90 and am glad I came across an article with some reservations, as I thought some things were problematic as well. One thing I have a problem with is that it doesn't follow the Gospel's admonition to fast, "not like the Scribes and Pharisees" but rather to clean up and hide the fact that you are fasting. With Exodus 90 participants are encouraged to tell everyone they are doing it so others don't try to post on their social media. It's kind of glaring to me. The paywall is ridiculous as well. I suppose I didn't read the instructions but it came as a surprise to me when I couldn't log in because I owed $. Sorry but I didn't pay up. All I'm missing are the daily readings and I have a bible so I'm good anyway. With some tweaking it could be for young men, probably its original target audience anyway, but for a 40-something father of 6 whose wife homeschools, it's a BAD idea, unless you plan on fudging on the rules. You are supposed to do an hour of prayer and meditation every and, as well as exercise. Basically I would have to come home and say, "good luck with the kids honey, I got Exodus 90" and take off to the gym and an adoration chapel. It's more of a burden to the wife than the husband. In fairness, I believe they do warn about this, it's just in the fine print.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your honest assessment Paul. I have absolutely nothing against the men who are trying the actual program this winter, and I hope it goes well for them. But, as I suspected (in talking with others since I wrote this), many of the men have similar reservations. Further reservations are: 1 - The weekly meetings, which in some cases consists of more time spent away from the family. 2 - That it is a fad.
      The anchor of traditional Catholicism is, I believe, abundantly sufficient as a guide for prayer and asceticism.

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