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By Fr. Matthew MacDonald, Catholic Exchange, Aug. 31, 2021
Fr. Matthew MacDonald is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. He is the eldest of three children. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2006. ..
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on SpiritualDirection.com and is reprinted here with kind permission. View the original here.
One of the most formative experiences in my own journey with the Lord was an opportunity I had to go to the Holy Land on a twenty-four-day pilgrimage for seminarians with the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre US Eastern Lieutenancy in July – August 2011. During our second tour of the city of Jerusalem on the evening of August 8, 2011, a few seminarians, our priest-chaplain, and I decided to do an all-night prayer vigil one night in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built both over Golgotha where Jesus was crucified as well as the Tomb of the Resurrection. This is the holiest church in all of Christendom. Since the mid-1800s, the church is locked up by a Muslim family as well as Catholic and Orthodox monks in an elaborate ceremony called “the status quo.” To do the prayer vigil here, one is instructed that they must literally stay awake from the hours of 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM when the Church is reopened. One cannot go to sleep during this time, but one is free to bring a Bible, rosary, prayer books, and bottles of water to help them stay awake and hydrated. …