God's Will Be Done
"Be sober, be vigilant;
your adversary the devil prowls about as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith..." 1 Peter 5
We're not Vigilantes. We're Vigilants.
Our mission is simple: to be prepared, always and everywhere, to serve as a Good Samaritan; fearing not the potential loss of our own lives, and refusing to stand by idly expecting only official First Responders to do the job.
Our motive is simple: The police in Uvalde, Texas and elsewhere have taught the nation a lesson. Namely, that we cannot wait for officials to do the obvious job before us, and that ordinary citizens must rise to the occasion to combat society's Crisis of Apathy that Uvalde was only one display of.
"Be watchful; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
We are men who commit to preparing, both in body and in soul, to safeguard the helpless: no matter what form rendering that aid takes, and to remain vigilant at all times and places to be ready to give that aid.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13
"You may delay, but time will not." - Benjamin Franklin
The Vigilants are just getting started. More content, more endeavors, more details, and more missions are coming soon.
"Let us have Faith that right makes might, and in that Faith let us dare to do our duty as we understand it." - Abraham Lincoln
Our Warning to bureaucrats
We will help the helpless.
We are not asking for permission to do so and we will not heed orders to refrain from so doing when the circumstances demand action.
This duty comes directly from God, Who commanded us, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31), and any mere human order or civil law that obstructs this Divine Command is automatically null and void. Any police officers, first responders, federal agents, or other government workers who—even while refusing to render necessary aid themselves—seek to stop us from doing so, will be disregarded.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2)
Rules for Vigilants
"God's Will Be Done!" is our motto and our battle cry.
We will keep it ever on our minds, hearts, and lips. We will accordingly stand ever reminded that we can only find ourselves in any situation because God has placed us there, and His Will is never that we be cowardly or apathetic. We believe that His Will is infinitely powerful and infinitely good, therefore we will never question or doubt it. This absolute trust in God's Will enables us to charge forward in how circumstances reveal His Will to us: no matter the cost, no matter the risk, and no matter the pain.
We do not regard ourselves as a replacement for official First Responders, but only supplements.
If official First Responders are already adequately dealing with a situation, we will not interfere, and will only render our aid if permitted to do so by them. We will always prioritize trying to get official First Responders to the scene when their presence is called for.
We are not vigilantes.
Vengeance and "retributive justice" have nothing to do with our mission. Our mission is that of the Good Samaritan--standing ever ready to render our aid in serious situations that call for them. While rendering this aid may sometimes take the form of gathering and submitting evidence to authorities of an offender's crime, it never impels us to pretend that we ourselves can become the arbiters of criminal punishment.
We will only use physical force against another--in keeping with the law-- when doing so is necessary to prevent immediate harm to the innocent. We understand that, in some unfortunate cases, protecting the life of the innocent against an unjust aggressor may only be possible by dealing a blow to the aggressor that could even prove fatal to him. We acknowledge the legitimacy of dealing such a blow, if doing so is the only way to save innocent life.
If in doubt, we intervene.
Most people who fail to be the Good Samaritans that the situation calls for have rationalizations for their apathy: "I wasn't really sure he needed help," or "someone else could have stepped in." As the majority of situations that call for rendering aid are nevertheless ambiguous enough that a dishonest man could defer to such a rationalization, we will circumvent this trap by choosing to at least offer aid if there is any doubt as to whether it is needed. We recognize that "Do you need help?" are four simple words that are always worthwhile.
"Oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse." - Shakespeare
When driving, we will if possible pull over and help someone on the side of the road who is unaided and is clearly in distress. When walking, we will pause to offer aid to someone who appears to be in need of it. Wherever we are, we will intervene however we can if we see someone assaulted, violated, or otherwise in danger or duress. We will not make excuses, and we will not pause to ponder if we are up to the task that the circumstances demand. We will simply act.
When appropriate and called for, we will sit or stand near the back of large gatherings.
To better keep watch of what transpires there, and to better stand ready to intervene if needed.
We will only carry any defensive weaponry that is legal to carry in the nation/state/locality within whose jurisdiction we operate.
"We burn the fat off our souls" - Hemingway
Herein lies 99% of the battle. As Uvalde taught us, all the physical preparation in the world will do nothing without the will to put it to use when the situation demands it. Therefore, we devote the majority of our attention to spiritual preparation.
Our regimen is focused especially on: 1) Developing an ever-readiness for death, 2) Growth in Humility**, 3) Growth in Love for all of God's Children (for we cannot truly be Good Samaritans unless we love those we wish to help), 4) Discipline/ Mortification of Flesh (for we will not be prepared to undergo sacrifice unless we practice this on a daily basis).
**We do not regard ourselves as courageous, much less as heroes: we are merely men who commit to doing our best to prepare, and we make no claim to know how we ourselves will act in extreme situations, nor do we judge the hearts of those who seem to have failed to be courageous; though in extreme cases, such as Uvalde, we will indeed judge their (in)actions. Even then, however, we will never point the finger and arrogantly claim "If I were there, I would've intervened!"
"Habit, unresisted, soon becomes necessity" - St. Augustine
God gave us hands and feet to be used in accordance with His Will. We prepare our bodies to be ready for whatever may be required by those situations God's Will may place us in.
Our regimen is focused on developing strength, general fitness, and acquiring the necessary skills that are most likely to be needed and helpful in the situations we may come across in daily life.
"All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it." - Plutarch
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
-Luke 10: 30-37
Servant of God Fr. Walter Ciszek
(Heroic priest imprisoned in Soviet Gulags for 23 years)
"Our sole purpose ... [is] to do the will of God. Not the will of God as we might wish it, or as we might have envisioned it, or as we thought in our poor human wisdom it ought to be. But rather the will of God as God envisioned it and revealed it to us each day in the created situations with which he presented us. His will for us was the twenty-four hours of each day: the people, the places, the circumstances he set before us in that time." - He Leadeth Me.
the martyrs of charity
Traditionally, martyrs are those who have been killed for the Faith. But Pope St. Paul VI beatified St. Maxamilian Kolbe as a "Martyr of Charity," and Pope St. John Paul II confirmed the title by canonizing him. Fr. Kolbe was killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz, after he offered to take the place of another man's execution. We are inspired by these "Martyrs of Charity," who really are martyrs in the fullest sense of the word, as they willingly sacrificed their lives in living out the calling of Christians to love all of God's children.
18 year old Kendrick Castillo was no martial arts expert or bodybuilder. But his soul was solid gold, and he knew exactly what to do when he saw his classmates about to be murdered: he charged the shooter. Thanks to his heroism, his classmates were saved, though this young man lost his own life in the process. We revere him as one of the many Martyrs of Charity, and we look up to his example.
"...Kendrick’s father, John Castillo, confirmed to the Denver Post what he had learned from witnesses and the coroner: that Kendrick died while charging the shooter to save his friends. “It doesn’t surprise me,” John Castillo told the Denver Post. “He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment.” “I wish he had gone and hid,” Castillo added, “but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”"
On the Founder of The Vigilants
Daniel O'Connor is a philosophy professor at a State University of New York Community College, an author (whose most recent book is Thy Will Be Done: The Greatest Prayer, the Christian's Mission, and the World's Penultimate Destiny), a mechanical engineer, a husband, and a father of four children (with a fifth on the way). He lives, works, and writes from New York. He can be contacted through his personal website, DSDOConnor.com
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." -James 1:12
The words of President Teddy Roosevelt illustrate why criticizing the Uvalde PD is not enough; we must ourselves rise to the occasion presented by the times we live in.
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