Let Your Light Shine


By Charlie Johnston

I’m going to keep it fairly simple today, to make a point that should be deeply contemplated.

First, I want to direct you to the TNRS Local Connect Link at the black bar at the top of this site. I don’t keep track of these things, but I know of several Next Right Step Groups or Storm Dinners where people get together once a month or more often to pray and talk about how they can help each other – and their neighbors during difficult times. I know that there are groups meeting regularly in New England, Chicago, Miami and San Diego. Of late, we have been getting a lot of inquiries about starting such groups.

The TNRS Local Connect provides a means by which people can get a group started and through which people in running groups can share ideas and information about what works and what doesn’t – and what their experience has been. I don’t get directly involved with this, though I am glad to speak to such groups – in person when possible – or by phone. I like to encourage people who are committed to helping each other and preparing to help neighbors who just did not see disaster coming.

Our TNRS team member J Lynn Byrd is coordinating the project with assistance from Lisa Huber. You can contact either of them at TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com. Let’s all go be a sign of hope.

Now to the main subject at hand. When contemplating anything, I always try to go back to first things, fundamental principles that, when properly applied, will lead to solid wisdom – and good policy. I hate over-complicated, Rube Goldberg approaches to policy. The more moving parts there are, the more that can go wrong. I like the elegance of simplicity. When you contemplate the universe it is both amazingly complex and amazingly – and elegantly – simple. Some consider muddled chaos to be complexity. It is not. It is just an intellectual garbage heap.

I have long contemplated why command political systems always collapse in shrieking chaos and misery, while free systems, put together well, thrive. More to the point, I contemplate how to explain simply why this is an inevitable result.

Start with the fundamental nature of man. As I have oft said before, if man is created in God’s own image, he is given a share in God’s nature – when he sheds his own fallen nature of vanity and malice. God’s fundamental nature is, through the love that processes among the Persons of the Trinity, to create. Thus man’s fundamental nature is to love and to act as a subordinate creator. He is happiest, most complete, when surrounded with family and friends he loves and is able to enjoy and delight in the work of his own hands – while simultaneously taking delight in the work of others around him. I have a sister-in-law who is the best cook I have ever met. Give her a half an hour and she will whip up some magnificent concoction from whatever ingredients she has at hand. It dazzles me. I have a brother who truly is a tree whisperer. I have been with him several times when he was considering a landscape. His eyes get kind of distant – and you can almost see, certainly feel, that he is seeing what it can be, what it should be, and how to make it so. It is a glorious privilege to see the intimacy of this creative moment that I do not have, but can deeply appreciate. Think of your own family and friends – and how often they dazzle you with the depth of their particular individual talents. I call this a man’s creative capacity. As with God, when one is joyfully immersed in the work of their own hands, it is not so much that they create as that creation falls like ripe fruit from the joy they take in their unique work – and sharing it with those they love.

Consider that one’s God-given creative capacity is his light. When all are joyfully and freely engaged in shining and sharing their light, the world is profoundly illuminated. If this is so, then leadership consists of inspiring people to let their light shine and share it joyfully.

The authoritarians of the anti-God progressive movement are aware of their own light. But they consider any of their lessers who let their light shine to be rivals.


A night satellite photo of the literal affect of authoritarianism. Free South Korea is infused with light. Captive North Korea is dark.

They seek to shut down all light except that of themselves and their fellow travelers. They will be “philanthropists” by sharing some of their light with the poor, benighted folksies – but don’t let those folksies get ideas of their own.


There is no doubt that some lights shine more brightly than others. But even if you take the hundred brightest lights available, then forbid all others, the country will remain in darkness. If, instead, you inspire all to let their light shine, the light will be great indeed. How often, at Vigil Masses, do we have a candle ceremony where each lights a candle in the darkened Church – and within minutes the whole Church is infused with light, all coming from the collective power of a thousand humble candles?

This is the eternal failure of the authoritarians. They fancy themselves bringers of the light, but because of their malicious demand that all others but theirs be quenched, they are ever only masters of darkness. And in their ignorant rage, they berate the very people whose light they have extinguished for the darkness they, themselves impose.

The secret of freedom, of joy, is that 300 million with a candle will produce more light than a hundred people with a floodlight. So participate in the Master’s nature. Let your light shine.

As God said at the beginning, “Let there be light.”


About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in By Their Fruit, Discernment, Family of God, Solidarity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

408 Responses to Let Your Light Shine

  1. Deborah Seiter says:

    Charlie, I don’t get every comment read, so if you have spoken on this forgive me. Have you seen the documentary, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”? I would truly like to know your thoughts about the info. I am, quite honestly, blown away by what is in it. Thank you and God bless all in the TNRS family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mona says:

    Hello everyone in my NRS family
    I have been whith you for almost 4 years now. Reading everything the first years. Now it is so overwhelming, so I am not able to read everything, but I read Charlies site every day, and several times a day. I love this site a lot, and I love all your comments.

    I want you to pray for me now. I am on wednesday in Denmark time, Denver time 8 houers later, have a angioplasty and a stent set up in my heart. I am calm and feel secure in the hands of Christ, but I want you to pray for me and for a succesful outcome of this operation.

    I want to say hello to all the regular commenters, and to say that I love you a lot. You are so knowledgeable, wise and amusing. I feel I know you and you feel like family to me. But it is also very interesting when people from Italy, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand and other countrys responds. It gives me a brouader picture of the whole world, and what we struggle whith. I would love that more people from other countrys would comment more.

    This site have given me a calm and a trust that whatever happends it is Gods will, and that all will be good. I hope I am, and will be a little light for someone.
    Mona from Denmark

    Liked by 21 people

  3. timothy says:

    Charlie, way off topic, but sincere….

    Do the logs in your cabin hold the heat ?

    God bless,

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pascalou says:

    Praying for you Mona ( from France). I don’t write very well in english, but I read and pray with all here

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Marie, je vous salue. Marie, oui bien, plein de grace. Le seigneur est avec vous. Vous etes beni entre tous les femmes et mon cher Jesus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est beni. Sainte Marie, mere de Dieu, prier pour nous, pauvre pecheurs, maintnenant et a l’heure de notre morte. Ainsi soit-il.

      Is that right Pascalou, or is that a Cannadian French? It is my habit, in praying for faith, hope and love at the beginning of my private Rosary, to say the first Hail Mary in English, the second in Latin, and the third in French. This is how a say the French one for an increase in love. Welcome to this site.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      Pascalou, je pense que vous ecrivez tres bien en anglais. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pascalou says:

    Merci Charlie de votre réponse.
    Voici en français : Je vous salue Marie, pleine de grâce. Le Seigneur est avec vous, vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes et Jésus le fruit de vos entrailles est béni. Sainte Marie Mère de Dieu, priez pour nous pauvres pécheurs, maintenant et à l’heure de notre mort. Amen
    Charlie, j’aime aussi prier le Je vous salue Marie en d’autres langues, mais je ne le connais pas en anglais… mais de tout cœur en communion avec tous les membres de la famille TNRS et tous mes frères et sœurs dans le Christ Jésus.
    Charlie, un grand merci dans le Seigneur pour tout ce que vous faites, pour ce site, tout ce qui s’y vit, En ces temps difficiles, nous avons bien besoin de l’aide de nos frères ainés les saints, et je prie aussi tout particulièrement pour nous tous Jeanne d’Arc (Patronne secondaire de la France) et Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus.
    De tout cœur, en Jésus et Marie

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nita Nankervis says:

    Since it’s almost election day and you used to be a political guy but I know you don’t like to talk about the vote too much. But since I am Catholic and think this vote is really important and you have a very big audience I think I would like to tell you about Bev Harris a fraud expert. She was in the HBO documentary Attacking Democracy She has a website Black Box Voting.org. She has a new video — fraction magic. You can watch it on her website. It’s how they steal our precious vote. That goes into how they steal elections with fraud within the software at a central computer.

    The gem system is 100 percent in Alaska, Georgia and Utah. And what is the news predicting. Those states are in play to switch from rep to dem. Oh really, or those are the states they plan to do fraud and manipulate the vote.

    Heaven has been saying at Holy Love that fraud is their plan. Now the darkness is totally being revealed by God and His grace as to how they plan to do it. Allocate votes by percent–fraction magic. But you don’t want to get too political on your website, right Charlie? So people speak up and demand their vote be counted correctly.

    I think it would be nice to fight for our vote. and expose the fraud. What do you think Charlie? It doesn’t make any difference, huh? I still haven’t figured out why heaven would tell you it’s not going to matter because they won’t make office. I am writing as I said because I think heaven has it’s hand in exposing this darkness so we DO SOMETHING. We don’t talk about inconsequential things when our country is is danger.

    Isn’t this the light that exposes the darkness? How exactly are we supposed to be the light like your other blog. Not get too political on your webstie, huh Charlie. Too much light. Like the hero Assange and Project Veritas. Risking their lives.

    This is my Catholic voice. Yours is kind of silent. As are many in the church. Can’t even say Trump’s name and talk about all the darkness he is exposing just by being honest and put him in the same category as the deep darkness that is trying to take over this country. through the soft coup Obama and Hillary are managing to get away with. People are actually discerning he is in the same category as Hillary? You have got to be kidding me. And you seem to infer the same thing. Trump is a basically good man –not a Christian, some say like a Cyrus—who loves this country and his family but with weakness in the flesh. Sounds like me. I think I’ll vote for him. Not someone totally given over to darkness like Clinton. And I think God in His mercy has given us this chance. God is exposing all this evil. We will have no excuse if we vote wrong or don’t vote or vote third party. No excuse. God is making it so easy. But you say Charlie this vote isn’t going to make any difference they won’t make office. Oh really. Isn’t that kind of like not acting so the prophecy you believe comes true. Just by simply default.

    The reason I challenge you on this is because it doesn’t make sense. And God makes good sense. This is the next right step but you never say that. Or emphasis it. Just put up the token Catholic vote blog before the election, huh.

    Does your lack of voice for the importance of the NEXT RIGHT STEP to vote for life and freedom and liberty make me upset? It does. Because of your influence.

    Truth in love, Nita Nankervis


    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Nita, this comment seems not to be solely a Trump for President post and an urge to support Holy Love Ministries despite the Bishop’s condemnation. Those are pretty much your only priorities, or at least the only ones you voice here. This time, you seem more to want to criticize me for not using my influence to support your priorities. Your priorities are not mine, your efforts to parody what I actually say notwithstanding. And no, I do not share your conviction that Trump and Holy Love ministries are the truth, the light and the way.

      For other readers, I have not cleared many of Nita’s comments because this is all she talks about. She has berated me for not respecting her freedom of speech by allowing her to hijack my website. Your freedom of speech allows you to start your own – and build influence by being credible and just – not hijack others for your purpose. I had hoped after not being cleared repeatedly she would get the idea and speak of some other things or at least speak of things in a broader spiritual context. She keeps suggesting I have banned her because I have not cleared her last four or five comments, not understanding my hope that she would move on and share her otherwise seemingly good heart in other contexts. But we seem to be at loggerheads. So Nita, you get your wish. This is your last comment. You are now banned.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Simone says:

        ack!!! Am I ever glad you have a few extra coats of skin, Charlie. Goodness what you have to deal with. Prayers for protection, and a few more layers of skin for you.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Praying for Nita💜

        Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        Thank you, Charlie.

        Nita, if you come back to read this, I want you to know I disagree with your assessments of how Charlie conducts himself on his site as he remains faithful to his mission and message. He does so while remaining a son of the Church who is completely obedient to Church authority.

        It isn’t right to taunt him and unjustly accuse him because you don’t agree with the ways God is working through him. From this reader’s view it’s just plain arrogant to say: “The reason I challenge you on this is because it doesn’t make sense. And God makes good sense.” God’s Ways and Thoughts are so far above our own. Throughout salvation history, He has acted in new, refreshing and surprising ways which seemingly made no sense to people at the time.

        Lastly, Bishop Lennon’s words were very clear in his official decree concerning Holy Love Ministries. I wonder why Catholics would persist in the error of promoting this group, particularly after Bishop Lennon noted that attempts at dialogue with Holy Love Ministries “proved unsuccessful.” There is no sugarcoating it. That is just plain disobedient.

        Liked by 7 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Beckita, that is so nicely said and true. So many sheep have had or have the wool pulled over their eyes. When we have loving shepherds who work tirelessly to remove the blinders and we still persist, we are left to stand before God in our pride.

          Liked by 4 people

      • BD says:

        Charlie, knowing that God has a Plan is sufficient for me. Nita should Trust that God has this all figured out. You can Sleep Better knowing this simple Message…

        Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, how sad this makes me when people cast aside obedience for the sake of something that makes them feel good or seems right. What good is there in feelings, limited perceptions, and/or human calculation when obedience is cast aside? Do we not see the consequences from the outset of Sacred Scripture?

      Was it unjust of God to want to spare His beloved creatures from the knowledge of evil? Of course not. Only God could have that knowledge and not be corrupted by it, and He clearly gave us a solid defense: obedience.

      Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love –– Isaac –– and go to the region of Moria. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” — Genesis 22:2.

      There’s certainly nothing in that episode that would make sense or feel good at the time… and how many, many disobedient folks (those lacking true faith and an upright spirit) would have failed that test!

      Please read Hebrews 11 which is all about Faith in Action. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…” followed by many examples and ending with, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

      Hm. Nary a Word about feelings and/or stuff making sense. Oh, but don’t take my word for it…

      For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One Man the many will be made righteous. — Romans 5:19

      If a person is familiar with the type of stories I share here, they might be tempted to think that I merely like to embrace stuff that feels good and/or makes sense to me. In fact, it’s the thorn in my side that I am most thankful for… one of the anchors that keeps me grounded. I recognize those thorns that others bear as well.

      Would it be loving and charitable of me to fuss with another’s thorn, inflaming their pain for the sake of trying to have my voice heard and get the upper hand? Of course not.

      Do we have a voice of charity in our words? Or, if we’re honest with ourselves, do we recognize the kind of insinuations, accusations, taunts and jibes that are the hallmark of the evil one? The kind of stuff that no doubt plagued Abraham all the way up the mountain. The same kind of assaults that plagued the Apostles and followers of Christ all along The Way, to the very pinnacle of the mountain where Redemption was accomplished.

      In the Name of Jesus Christ, and for the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, I say stop it! Better to go away repentantly and in humble silence than to cause any of the little ones to fall.

      I know, that may seem harsh, but an upright spirit should be able to fully embrace Sacred Scripture and the Faith –– much of it seemingly harsh –– which is in fact full to overflowing with Love beyond our comprehension. So much so, that not one thing could be added.

      Think about it, and be confident that others love you, and we pray to Our Merciful Father that His desire for you is accomplished.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. Pascalou says:

    Thanks Mick ! I wil pray it !
    Sainte fête de la Toussaint à vous tous ! Nous avons déjà célébré ici les premières vêpres de cette grande Fête (It’s 9 pm here)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. donna says:

    sigh, that causes me so much joy in my heart that All Saints is still celebrated in France. There is almost no word of this precious festival here in Canada.😦 All the saints in heaven pray for us

    Liked by 5 people

  9. anetoflove says:

    Could anyone help me? I have been trying to read Spiritdaily and it just goes to a page that is about a week old. Am I the only one?
    I pray for this whole community! I read almost everything but seldom post. Thank you to you “regulars” and “irregulars”. You are all appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Nice to see you commenting, Anetoflove. 🙂

      I went to spiritdaily.com and got a current page (I know it’s current because there’s an article about last night’s World Series game).

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        It was actually just a comment from a site that gets a lot of critical comments about me. It was actually somewhat unintentionally hilarious. It accused me of pride for saying that if Obama peacefully transferred power to Clinton or Trump on Jan. 20, I would declare myself unreliable and go away. My, my, how much more arrogant could I possibly get than to say if I have misunderstood, I would own up to it and depart? My son spent a day about a month ago researching me online, with emphasis on the sites that are critical. He chuckled when he called me about it. Said it was kind of funny to see how they have morphed in the last year from how wrong I was about everything to how vain I am. Said he partially understood it – as it is hard to argue any more that I am wrong. But he said the weird thing was how hard they try to make me into someone vain, saying they obviously don’t know me at all. He chuckled that, in a way, he felt sorry for them because I really don’t give them much to work with.

        These critical ankle-biters have been on me like barnacles for a year and a half now. I expect it to stop sometime after the Rescue – but that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

        Liked by 4 people

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