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What are the Disciplines for Easter 50?
What are the Disciplines for Easter 50?

How and why we practice asceticism during Easter 50

Jacob Zepp avatar
Written by Jacob Zepp
Updated over a week ago

“It is absurd not to rejoice in the soul’s health, and rather to sorrow over the change in food and to appear to favor the pleasure of the stomach over the care of the soul. After all, while self-indulgence gratifies the stomach, fasting brings gain to the soul” (St. Basil the Great, First Homily on Fasting).

The Importance of Asceticism

Asceticism has played a role in every age of human civilization. From the very beginning of mankind, the Lord called man to fast. He commanded Adam and Eve to abstain from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 2:17). Esau lost his birthright when he failed to fast (see Genesis 25:30-34). Samuel was given to his mother when she fasted and prayed (see 1 Samuel 1:13-16). Samson’s unconquerable heroism was brought about by fasting (see Judges 13:4). The list goes on.

When you say no to your whimsical impulses, you become stronger. When you say no to the weakness of the flesh, both the flesh and the soul are emboldened. And when you say no to vice, you say yes to virtue. As St. Basil says, “True fasting is being a stranger to vice” (First Homily on Fasting). The virtuous life is the life of the free man every day of every year.

For a full answer about why we still take up ascetic practices during celebratory seasons such as Easter, read this article:

Using the App

The disciplines tab on this was designed to help you track your progress throughout this exercise.

When Jerry Seinfeld was an up-and-coming comedian, he made a commitment to write one joke every day. He had a big calendar of the whole year on a wall in his apartment. Every time he wrote a joke, he put an ❌ on that date. Before long, he had a growing chain of ❌’s on the calendar — a visual reminder of the consistent work he put in. We employ a similar method on the Exodus app to help us keep track of progress and encourage consistent growth as men.

Every day, you will be able to mark each discipline as complete, and the app will track your streak. This kind of habit tracking is helpful because it:

  1. It acts as a visual reminder for you to complete the disciples.

  2. It motivates you to make progress and build up your streaks—like Seinfeld and his jokes.

  3. It is satisfying to see the results.

As you check off the disciplines you complete each day, you will start to see your strengths and weaknesses. This can give you helpful insight into where you need to improve.

Building a habit of virtue takes time—a whole lifetime, really. You may not see the fruits immediately. So count these small wins as they occur. It is both helpful and encouraging to see small streaks begin to develop.

What are the Disciplines of Easter 50?

Each season contains a specific list of ascetic disciplines to help you find uncommon freedom. These practices are not empty penances. They are God’s roadmap to freedom.

By committing to this list of ascetic disciplines, you and tens of thousands of other men will seek the uncommon freedom to which the Lord is calling you. This list of disciplines touches most aspects of daily life. As you read this list, some of the disciplines may sound very easy, and some may sound impossible. Be open to whatever the Lord is asking of you—do not harden your heart.

📖 Read Easter Reading & Reflection

Read or listen to the daily scriptural passage provided on the Exodus app. Allow the word of God to speak to you. Then, read or listen to the reflection we have prepared to open the Scriptures as you build your plan of life and become a son of the Resurrection.

🙏 20 Minutes of Silent Prayer

Set aside a minimum of 20 minutes for silent, contemplative prayer before the Lord. Make a place in your home where you can pray or go to your local church. Schedule this time, and turn off the notifications on your phone. This is a time for you to talk to the Lord. This is a time for the Lord to talk to you.

🌜 Examine your Day

At the end of the day, prayerfully examine what you have done and what you have failed to do throughout the day. What were the main things you accomplished? Where were you led in your prayer, and how did you respond?

💪 Regular Fraternity Meeting

Everyone in your fraternity should meet to check in and pray together. Discuss what you did in the world and what you were moved toward in prayer. Do your part to make your fraternity a committed band of brothers. Make these men lifelong friends. To aid your fraternity meeting, we will provide a meeting guide on the app.

🚿 Cold Shower Fridays

On Fridays, offer up a cold shower. Don't focus on how cold the water is, but take this as an opportunity to offer a sacrifice. Think of someone who needs your prayer, and recall your why. Let this be an opportunity to tame the flesh and free the spirit.

🐟 No Meat Fridays

"Christ Died for Our Salvation on Friday. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church... Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year" (USCCB, "Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence").

🧎‍♂️ Make one Holy Hour each week

Each week, set aside one hour to pray. Your 20 minutes of silent prayer can be a part of this hour. Schedule this time, and allow the Lord to speak to you. If you are able, make your holy hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Enjoy this time with the Lord.

☀️Celebrate the Lord's Day

We live a life of fasting and feasting. Celebrate the Lord's resurrection on Sunday. Take extra time for prayer, family, and friends. Weather permitting, consider doing something outside and enjoying God's creation. This is a great day to have a feast; invite friends or have a candlelight dinner. Take this day to live "the good life" and enjoy the many blessings the Lord showers upon his sons.

During the Easter season, you will need to discern how the Lord is calling you to follow each of these disciplines. Do not harden your heart against the voice of the Lord. Open your body and soul to the freedom that the Lord is offering you.

Don’t give in to the temptation to be a overscrutinze the observance of these disciplines. While this list is a helpful guide, you must discern your intention and always follow God’s will. As you start this exercise, take the example of the early Christian Church in Jerusalem. In this community, “Each does what he can, nor is he praised who has done much, nor is he blamed who has done less” (Egeria’s Travels, c. 380 AD)

Personal Disciplines

You can also add your own personal disciplines on the disciplines tab. You may be going to pray a rosary every day or get out of bed by a certain time every morning. You can add any disciplines you are committing to at the bottom of the disciplines tab.

For a full guide, check out "How Do I Add a Personal Discipline?"


Have more questions about these disciplines?

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