Cold Showers, Fasting, Prayer: 90-Day Catholic Bootcamp Helps Free Men Enslaved to Sin

This is a piece written by Stephen Kokx at LifeSite News.

Besides reproducing the text of the article in full below, I am supplying the link below:

I can attest that fasting and exposure to cold water are very healthful. Of course, praying is also — but it doesn’t “interfere” with people’s comfort like the other two disciplines do. One of the greatest roots of degeneracy in our society is the sheer SOFTNESS of the average man. Most people will not, or perhaps even cannot, put up with the natural elements of the outdoors or foregoing food for some time. In fact, whenever the suggestion to try fasting comes up, there is sure to be a warning about the need to first consult your doctor! Folks, listen, humans have been starving since before the first cave painting was made! The fact that today most of us question whether we have what it takes to fast is a powerful illustration of how degraded we are.

Modern technology has done this to us. We have comfort and safety atop more comfort and safety, and so many luxuries that we don’t even see them for what they are. Very few of us anymore are conditioned by the elements — by the natural environment — to be what God’s will was pleased to make us. We are now finding that embracing or avoiding the ancient rigors of nature isn’t simply a matter of taste or personal style, but a very serious matter of health — physical, mental, and spiritual.

Personally, I’ve been immersing myself in ice water on a somewhat regular basis throughout winter for at least six years now. I maintain a hole in a lake not far from home and go there periodically to condition myself. I also go winter camping — and this is in addition to the fact that I work outdoors all year long. I also fast. I cannot stress enough how important this all is for my overall well-being. In fact, without the least bit of bragging, I can say that of all the people I know personally, I am the hardiest. I’ve had a number of people tell me sincerely that I am toughest person they know. The thing is, I’m probably just a very average guy on the big scale of man throughout history.

Ice Swim
This is me, coming up for air after swimming under the ice from another hole.

Listen, your body is always liable to drag you down. Fatigue, hunger, panic/adrenaline — these things can seriously undermine you. Remember, Christ told His disciples, “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. Watch and pray, therefore, that ye enter not into temptation.” The physical dimension of our being is so badly sabotaged by comfort right now — that is why we are on the brink of extermination and we feel helpless in the face of it. Virtually everybody these days is a slob and a pansy. In order for anything to get better, we need to invert the slob/hard-ass ratio to the complete inverse of what it presently is. Slobs are docile and slave-like. The systems wants, no, needs, slobs — that’s what keeps the plantation going. God wants warriors. The emergence of warriors is the death knell of the plantation.

I don’t know if this particular program being promoted on LifeSite is the end-all be-all of conditioning programs, but anything in this general area is badly needed and I am very glad to see the Catholic Church taking this initiative.

January 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The modern world seeks to ensnare souls in sin and drag them to hell. Lurid movies, immodest clothing, and our culture’s celebration of drunkenness and sexual conquests entice persons, especially men, to indulge in what is opposed to the laws of Jesus Christ.

It’s sometimes difficult to come across solid Catholic resources geared towards helping men overcome these things. This lack of instruction has arguably been one of the primary factors contributing to the loss of true masculinity in today’s church. Fortunately, Catholics have not been abandoned entirely.

Exodus 90 is a three-month-long spiritual program that serves as a unique gift in these times. It’s aim is to provide Catholic men with the tools to rediscover their faith and embrace true freedom by ditching the trappings and distractions of the world so they can grow in humility and love of God.

Originally part of a seminary program by Fr. Brian Doerr at Mount St. Mary’s Theological Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Exodus 90 has since exploded into a full-blown non-profit ministry that has helped more than 20,000 men over the last five years. James Baxter is the young man who helped co-found and now serves as the Executive Director of Exodus 90.

“If these seminarians were in need of this life-giving and liberating spiritual exercise, what about laymen everywhere who do not have the luxury of a formation house?” he asked.

In a recent interview, Baxter, a former seminarian, said that Exodus 90’s mission is to provide a path to freedom through prayer, asceticism, and fraternity.

“Every man comes to Exodus for different reasons. But the common thread is a desire for greater freedom. Most men are deeply motivated to become better husbands for their wives and fathers for their children or priests for the Church.”

Baxter believes that a man “should sign up to embrace his calling to become the spiritual leader in his home that God has called him to be.”

Exodus 90 asks men to engage in new spiritual practices. It also requires them to give up certain comforts. Taking cold showers, not drinking alcohol, fasting, limited technology use, exercising regularly, and committing to a daily holy hour are just a few of its requirements.

Baxter told LifeSite co-founder John-Henry Westen that it’s not always easy to accomplish this and that there are definite ebbs and flows of spiritual warfare over the 90 days. But local, face-to-face meet ups with other Exodus 90 participants help hold everyone accountable.

Exodus membership is $10 each month, which includes unlimited access to Exodus 90 and over 3 years of “Day 91” spiritual exercises, which walk men through all 14 narrative books of the Bible to help them to preserve their freedom and build upon their formation.

This year, the Lenten Exodus 90 program begins on January 13 and ends on Easter. Visit for more information, or download the mobile app in the App Store or Google Play Store. “Like” Exodus 90 on Facebook and “follow” them on Twitter.

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