In early 2018, a friend invited me to participate in Exodus 90, out of the blue and with minimal notice. Exodus 90 is a ninety-day spiritual exercise of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. The next thing I knew, I committed to a daily holy hour, scripture & spiritual reading, cold showers, no TV or movies, no alcohol, no eating between meals, no sweets, regular exercise, and face-to-face meetings at 6:00 am every Saturday with nine other men in St. Mary's County, Maryland. Why?
I'm not sure. God and Our Lady work in mysterious ways. The book answer is that Exodus 90 is a period of purification, a dying to self to focus on the basics of the faith, supported by like-minded men, in the spirit of the Desert Fathers of the 3rd and 4th century Church. Exodus 90 helps people break worldly attachments, achieve greater interior freedom, and love in more pure and selfless ways. In this broken, crazy world and with my lukewarm faith, I thought I needed something. I'm pretty sure Our Lord and Lady thought the same. Part way through the program, an Exodus brother sent me this MI Video. It struck me and stuck with me. Who are the MI? Where are the MI? Can I join?
My Exodus brothers and I completed the program, more or less, and asked: "what next?" To be honest, not much came next, at least not right away. I didn't do Exodus 90 well in the first place. The program provides a list of "what" to do, but the "why" is left to each person. Without a good "why" - the Exodus practices didn't really stick or last - except one: spiritual reading. And that spiritual reading eventually provided a "why." That "why" is the reason I did Exodus 90 again in early 2019 and is the reason that this site exists. That "why" is the message of Our Lady of Fatima. In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. The children were the future Saint Jacinta, Saint Francisco, and Sister Lucia, Servant of God, who is in the beatification process now (June 2019).
Mary asked the children, and asks us, to pray and sacrifice to console God, to make reparation, and to bring His graces down to convert sinners. Why does God need to be consoled? Mary said that God is much offended by the sins of humanity and that Jesus suffers greatly due to our sins and ingratitude. Mary showed the children a vision of Hell and said that many, many souls go there, mostly due to sins of the flesh. She said that we are in imminent danger of losing our souls if we remain obstinate in sin. She said that God offers humanity two last remedies to save souls and bring peace to the world: the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She said that we will suffer much, but that the grace of God will be our comfort and that Devotion to the Immaculate Heart will lead us to Him. On October 13, 1917 tens of thousands of people, who were believers and non-believers alike, witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, which she predicted beforehand, proving her words true and the power of God. And the children of Fatima showed us, in the witness of their lives, that to love God, to reform the Church, and to change the world, we have to start by changing ourselves. By God's grace, and with Our Lady's intercession, we can all do that. Convert, be sanctified, allow the Lord and His Blessed Mother to work through us, thereby glorifying God.
Three days after the Miracle of the Sun St. Maximilian Kolbe founded the Militia Immaculata. 102 years later we founded SOMD-MI, the Southern Maryland Village of the Militia Immaculata. For thus it is fitting that Our Lady's Army is now formally established in Our Lady's County.