Modern Man & Uncommon Freedom
In the book of Exodus, God called Moses to help lead His people from slavery in Egypt into a life of freedom in the Promised Land.
Since 2015, over 100,000 men in over 75 countries have undergone “Exodus 90”, a spiritual exercise of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity rooted primarily in the book of Exodus. Through this modern Exodus, men overwhelmingly report achieving new freedom from Pharaohs that had them enslaved, whether it was doom-scrolling on the phone, over-consumption of media, distraction from gaming or other habits, over-eating or simply over-snacking, and more.
How? Daily prayer. Intentional sacrifice. Fraternal accountability.
Through this simple formula, men of all ages and states of life have found new freedom to fully live their vocations, to love and to serve – to be the men God created them to be.
I made my first Exodus in 2016, then again, the year after. I waited a few years until 2000 to make my next, and then have been doing so each year since. Every year I find a new area of my life where God is helping to free me even further from new things that have held me back from being fully present to those I love and to my vocation. In addition to my own growth in freedom, I treasure the brotherhood within my fraternity where I also get to support and witness similar growth in my brothers.
Now, for the last year, our fraternity has enjoyed continuing to engage in the daily formation tools and clear road map for men to live the uncommon life of freedom every day of the year, ebbing and flowing with the calendar the Church gives us. We’ve enjoyed Advent into Exodus 90, then an Easter season focused on teaching us to feast virtually. In the summer months we journeyed through the Book of Second Samuel in the Bible, working on overcoming sloth while reading about how David’s sloth led to his moral downfall, and then how he repented and was restored.
From the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 to the Feast of St. Michael & the Archangels we journeyed St. Michael’s Lent together, bringing back the practice of another Lent that was made popular by St. Francis in his time. We explored the depths and reality of spiritual warfare.
Through this fall, providentially paralleling world events, we’ve walked through the First Book of Maccabees, following the sons of the Maccabeus family in their cause to protect, defend, and restore the Jewish people. We’ve explored and discussed in fraternity the ways in which we’re called to be prepared to lead, protect, and defend our faith.
Sometimes we fast, and other times we feast. This is the life of an Exodus man. This is also what the Church has been doing for ages. Exodus just turned it orange and made it a bit more accessible to modern men through an app.
A friend of mine, Dan K. from northern Illinois, recently shared with our team, “You are doing something no one else is doing in the Christian world that I am aware of. I can tell you from personal experience that you are bringing men into the Roman Catholic faith and back into it… All because the men that are doing Exodus have become equipped and competent disciple makers.”
That’s a high complement to our team at Exodus who is just seeking to help men find an uncommon freedom to be who God created them to be.
We’re gearing up for an exciting Advent season in the Exodus app. We’ll be sharing reflections on the first reading from the Mass readings each day, from the Prophet Isaiah. As we do so, we’ll lean into the theological virtue of Hope. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will join us for a short video conversation each week with his thoughts on how men should be seeing and pursuing hope through the Advent season. (Full disclosure: Bishop Paprocki is my own bishop, who I am honored to serve as a deacon.)
And on the heels of the Advent and brief Christmas season in Exodus, we’ll head together into this year’s Exodus 90.
Ninety days from Easter this year puts the start of Exodus 90 right on January 1. So as the rest of the world is making their New Year’s Resolutions, Exodus men around the world will be picking up anew the full breadth of ascetical practices that make Exodus 90 what it is and renewing their commitment to journeying with their fraternities.
Is this your year to make an Exodus – or a second or third Exodus? It’s different than any previous year, with a new manuscript of reflections guided by this year’s Spiritual Guide, Father Boniface Hicks.
Father Boniface’s influence will be a gift to Exodus men everywhere this year. He is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Fr. Boniface has provided spiritual direction for many men and women, including married couples, seminarians, consecrated religious and priests, and is well-written in the areas of prayer and spiritual formation.
Exodus 90, new as it is, kicks off another full year in the Exodus app – an uncommon year in which to find your own new sense of uncommon freedom.
Download the Exodus app, invite a man or two to join you in fraternity on the journey, and join us. To freedom! Head to StartMyExodus.com to learn more today.
Deacon Michael Halbrook is a deacon of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He serves as COO of Exodus as his “day job,” and as Director of Faith Formation at St. Elizabeth Parish in Glen Carbon. His secular career spanned media, production, advertising, consulting, and consulting leadership for more than 25 years prior to his joining the team at Exodus. He and his wife Suzanne are raising their four sons in their hometown in downstate Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, the “Rome of the West”. His Exodus fraternity is based at the parish he serves as deacon.