- Nightline: “You a good man?”
- Sammy: “I think I’m a descent man.”
- Nightline: “You don’t worry about a final judgment?”
- Sammy: “I’ll worry about that that day, and we’ll see what happens.”
Big mistake. You’ve spoken your own judgment already now, right there, Sammy. Let’s rephrase that conversation with a bit more clarity:
- Jesus: “If you love me, keep the commandments.”
- Sammy: “Loving God and neighbor by keeping the commandments isn’t my way of getting the job done. It doesn’t mean I don’t love God and neighbor. I’m just doing it my way.”
- Jesus: “I am the way, the truth and the life. If you love me, keep the commandments.”
- Sammy: “You, Jesus, want to judge me, Salvatore? Get in line. We’ll see what happens on that day.”
Big mistake. You’ve spoken your own judgment already now, right there, Sammy: You’re disrespecting Jesus, dishonoring Him. How do you think that’s going to work out?
You think you have power over the Creator of the universe?
You think you can be self-righteous in front of Him, who stood in our place, Innocent for the guilty, taking what we deserve for sin, death, on Himself, so that He could base His mercy on His justice, He, standing in our place: “Father, forgive them?”
Jesus just showed us His Truth, His love. In our cynicism and self-righteousness, this was perceived by us an incriminating, as an insult. We killed Him to get Him out of the way, such entitled cowards are we, not being able to face the Truth of who we are before God.
He knew that would happen. He baited us into it. He did it to take on the death we deserve for sin. But He’s Innocent, and He’s God. He has the right in His own justice to forgive us. He has the right to command us: “If you love me, keep the commandments.” And you blow Him off, Sammy?
It’s been a while since your first Holy Communion, right?
What did you do before that? Your first Confession, right?
Time to go to Sacramental Confession again. Let’s get the job done.
So, besides the soul of Sammy, why do I put up such a post on my little blog?
After the RICO laws started up, and after Sammy did what he did because of those RICO laws, things have changed for the mafia over in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Ozone Park… And there are really a lot of Mafia who are living out their last days in the quiet, forested, back ridges of the Appalachian paradise that is my parish. They’re also right now moving into the area. And Sammy’s statements are a scandal to them, keeping them away from Jesus. Not good.
To one and all: Go to Confession! Don’t wait until “that day.”
Sammy is not beyond redemption, beyond Jesus’ forgiveness. No one is.
And don’t think that the keys of the Pearly Gates are with Saint Peter at the entrance to heaven and that those keys will be turned on “that day.” No. Those keys are held and are turned by the lowly parish priest in the Confessional. You want to go to heaven, go to the gates of heaven now, in the Confessional, and start on the Way, who is Jesus.
We’re not computers, but an integral, that is, honest Confession has the following characteristics:
- Confession of all mortal sins, the kind that they are, say, murder, and the number of times, even if we have to guesstimate, say, 19 murders, or is it more. No details. No excuses. No obfuscation. Just say it, flat out. That’s it.
- Well, important circumstances that add mortal sin have to be included. So, say a young man, not Sammy, but any young man, murders an old man. That’s one thing. But if that old man is his father, that also has to be confessed as that’s against another commandment of honor thy father and thy mother. Get it? Just the facts.
- There has to be contrition, at least because of fearing the loss of heaven and fearing the pains of eternal hell. It would be great if one were also sorry to God for having offended God’s love.
- There has to be a firm purpose of amendment of life, to not sin again.
After that, the priest will give the absolution, the soul will radiate God’s grace, all forgiven, pointed to heaven, ready to go. Really. God is good. God loves us. He paid the price. Just take it in.
Sure, there a “penance”, you know, like “Say three Hail Marys for the souls in purgatory.” Whatever it is for the Confession that’s made. The priest should give you a penance that you can actually do.
I say all this with full respect, as a courtesy, with the aim of getting souls to heaven, including that of “Sammy the Bull”, Salvatore Gravano.
And no, I don’t think I’m better than him or anyone else. As it says in the book of Revelation: We will all of us together look on Him who we have pierced through. We all stand in need of the Lord’s forgiveness. I just went to Confession a few days ago. I don’t want to go hell. I want to go to heaven. I want other to go to heaven. You, too, Sammy. All of us.
P.S. Remember John Gotti not getting a Funeral Mass. Well, if you, Sammy, also make a public renunciation of the Mafia, I’ll give you a public funeral. Yep. It would be an honor to respect you.