VIDEO: Fr. Altman on restoring meaning to Christmas

"[Jesus] didn't say 'pick up your cross for five minutes and put it back down again.' Pick up your cross and carry it every day," Altman said.

Fr. James Altman/Rebecca Brannon

Fr. James Altman joined Alpha News to discuss Christmas, including how the faithful should celebrate and how the secular world has devalued the holiday.

During the hour-long interview, Altman explained that Christians need to regard the call to carry one’s cross daily in a literal sense, designating time to be spent with God each day. It is only through daily practice of meditation and prayer that a person can be properly attuned to the Lord’s will for his life, the priest reports. Through such practice a person can both receive grace and become a more effective instrument for God’s will on earth.

“Pick up your cross every day and carry it, and He [Jesus] didn’t say ‘pick up your cross for five minutes and put it back down again.’ Pick up your cross and carry it every day. That is love,” Altman said.

“The one thing that each one of us can do,” he continued, “that Jesus actually told us to do, is spend an hour a day … in prayer and reflection and meditation and listening. Not just praying a second rosary, [but] stopping and listening — because perhaps God has something to tell you.”

After delivering his thoughts on Christmas, the priest also discussed a variety of other topics ranging from corruption in the Church to the detrimental effects of the sexual revolution on America.

At the root of most societal problems is “selfish self-indulgence,” he said. Just as overindulgence in materialism debased the Christmas holiday, so did a selfish desire for sexual gratification lead to the rise and normalization of abortion, the priest observed. “It comes down to one word: selfishness.”

“The greatest sin of the last century is the loss of the sense of sin. There’s no shame anymore,” he added, echoing Pope Francis and Pope Pius XII.

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