When it comes to time, hard work and commitment, many of us are willing to push the envelope for the sake of our appearance. We’ll resolve to hit the gym, join a fitness class, follow through on this or that workout resolution for the new year. And, in fairness, sometimes our motivation is more virtuous than vain. We realize we’ve let ourselves settle into inertia and that it’s not a good way to live.
Or maybe we’ll sacrifice evenings to bolster our resumés. Night school? Commendable! Our culture is ready to applaud the person who works overtime or takes a second job.
But what about God? How much time do we give Him?
What about our souls? Do we put in time and work on our prayer lives?
One parish priest in Madison, Wisconsin wants to help us Catholics put our money where our mouth is. Father Richard Heilman is no stranger to rallying the troops, busy as he is as pastor of three parishes, chaplain to the KofC and other apostolates, and so much more (find out at his website RomanCatholicMan.com).
A warrior for souls with a true pastor’s heart, Fr. Heilman has put together a framework of tools and a (virtual) community of support in his latest initiative, which we present today.
The Nineveh 90 Challenge is a rigorous, 90-day endeavor of prayer and penance to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. We wanted to share this in time for you to prayerfully consider joining, as the official start date is Monday, February 13. Check it out and let us know what you think!
1 . For these 90 days, resolve to let go of repetitive sin you struggle with (e.g., masturbation, over-eating, alcohol, etc.)
2. Wear Brown Scapular (Scapular Medal allowed)
3. Daily Mass (This is more of an encouragement, as many cannot do this)
4. Confession (at least once a month … immediately following grave sin)
5. Support System: Create or join a “Nineveh 90 Squad” of 3-8 people. Meet 1-3 times per week (in person or online). Join together with an “Accountability Buddy.” Meet daily or, at least, 3 times a week.
6. Daily Prayer
– Morning Offering
– Angelus (6,Noon,6)
– Holy Hour (or at least 20 minutes – does not need to be before the Blessed Sacrament)
– Bedtime Prayers
7. For 90 Days, Commit to…
– Regular and intense exercise (this may be one of the greater challenges for many)
– Seven hours of sleep is essential
– No alcohol
– No desserts & sweets
– No eating between meals
– No soda or sweetened drinks
– No television or movies (news allowed)
– Only music that lifts the soul to God
– No televised sports (one per week allowed)
– Limit recreational computer time (only use for personal needs and fulfillment. May be needed for Nineveh 90 too)
8. 54 Day Rosary Novena (Basic Training in Holiness) – February 13 to April 7
– Prayer Intention for 54 Day Rosary Novena: Personal Holiness and for the Catholic Church.
9. 33 Day Preparation for Consecration – April 10 (Monday of Holy Week) to May 12
10. Marian Consecration – May 13, 2017. 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima
Sundays and Solemnities: may be a day of relaxed discipline, but not abandoned. (Sleep in an extra hour, cream in your coffee, a dessert, a beer, etc.)
Fasting: Wednesdays and Fridays (Water/Juice and bread only, if medically allowed, otherwise as is outlined by the USCCB)
You are encouraged (not required) to join the Angelic Warfare Confraternity (We have found that the requirements for joining are not very accessible to many, so we are not requiring this)
Sign-up for the daily email prayers and reflections at this website: nineveh90.com
Join our “Special Forces Training” FB group to receive instructions and form Nineveh 90 squads and buddies: SPECIAL FORCES TRAINING
(10 Elements and Extras taken directly from Nineveh 90 website)
We share this O.I. for our readers who are ready and looking for a rigorous challenge, but we recognize that not everyone is, and that’s ok.
Just as it would be unhealthy and unsafe for the average person to attempt running a marathon without slowly building up and training for a suitable period ahead of time, do not undertake a discipline in practicing your faith that threatens to be a cause of discouragement.
If you like the idea but find it overwhelming, maybe a few or even just one of Fr. Heilman’s elements above would be a positive step, and a good commitment for you to go deeper in your faith.
Remember that it is your relationship with God and your love of His Church that ought to always be cultivated, according to your state of life.
All that said, let us know if you’ll be trying the Nineveh 90 Challenge! We will certainly be praying for you and for all holy warriors!
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