Recap 2021: The Rest of the Story

Today's blog is a follow-up to a vlog that I released on New Years' Eve 2021.  The video recaps personal life points that spoke about unhealthy behaviors during the height of Covid-19.  It depicts how I pivoted towards improving my life and deepening my faith.  I want to elaborate a bit more on these subjects after poignant questions were asked by a reader.

Some people seem to appease my creative hobby, "Catholic Camper" and others view it with purpose.  With this particular piece, Recap: 2021 the responses after its launch were like bolts of illuminating lighting during a stormy dark night; exciting!  

One question by a particular viewer caught my attention, "So what is the rest of the story?  His question contends me to explain myself further.  And s
o, I will answer here, in written form.  Specifically, the reader asks, "What changes did you notice in yourself when you committed to prayer, a communication partner, and quiet time?" 

First, prayer is a verb and deserves intentionality.  But with so many prayer formats it is challenging to find one that fits my style.  So, during the Pandemic, I evaluated all types of prayer and determined which one I enjoyed the most. I chose Lectio Divina with the Liturgy of the Hours.  Mostly, because I'm contemplative and I like structure.  Both reads are set in a disciplined format that keeps me from getting distracted.  Furthermore, finding quiet time to pray was more challenging than the first since work was increasing at the office.  I decided to combine both.  I gauged a normal 24-hour day and slotted 2 hours for prayer and quiet time at a very unusual time of day; 4:30 AM.  A time when I would not receive emails or phone calls and the house was quiet.  Quiet enough that I was able to pray wholeheartedly and listen to His Word.  At times, during the darkness of morning and the light of a flickering candle, I heard the clarifying voice of God.  

I continue to do this today, at least three times a week and as a result, I am rested and confident to take on life issues.  Prayer and quiet time allow a natural decompression from stress and disburden mind-boggling anxieties of life.  I find peace, true peace.    

Now, recognizing a communication partner was an accident.  In fact, it just happened.  This person was someone I trust and enjoyed their company.  He is not a counselor nor a spiritual guide.  No, this person listens, decodes, and receives messages from me with the intent of just being a friend.  

Today, the relationship is reciprocal and I must be ready to do the same for him.  My experience thus far is much like a brotherhood and periodic huddles are best to help with life spats. In fact, interpersonal communication between us creates boundaries to assist with keeping a healthy relationship.  How is this different from talking to my wife?  Well, it's a guy thing! 
Finally, in the vlog, I mention four books that prove to be page-turners in 2021.  These books had a significant impact on my year which offered perspective to the above-mentioned life points.  I will vlog about the books later.  And for this piece, I will close with another question the reader asks; "
I suspect that you have some specific examples that I could relate to and be inspired by the books you read:
Immaculee Ilibagiza, Left to Tell 
Bob Schuchts, Be Healed  
Jeffrey Krames, Lead with Humility  
USCCB, Everyone Belongs 

Yes, I do Scott. 


  1. "Be Healed". Thank you for this recommendation. You'll never know the profound impact this has made in my Faith journey. Thank you!!


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