Those who wish to attend the exhibit as a type of spiritual pilgrimage should take careful steps to prepare, he said.
He suggested reading the Gospel accounts of Christ's passion and resurrection before visiting. Going to station from station in the 3D tour, a pilgrim might choose a prayer or scripture verse to meditate on at each stop.
Additionally, he said, the pilgrimage should be accompanied closely by Mass, confession, and a work of charity. It should culminate with firm resolutions on how to "live differently in light of the mystery of our faith."
While the spiritual pilgrimage to the D.C. exhibit would not have an indulgence attached to it as other formally recognized pilgrimages do, Lilles said, virtual pilgrimages have been supported by the Vatican before.
"John Paul II once led pilgrims in the footsteps of Abraham from Ur to the Holy Land to Egypt and back to the Holy Land. He wanted to actually go to these places during the Great Jubilee of 2000, but Saddam Hussein refused permission," he recalled.
"So instead, in the Paul VI audience hall, he led us on a 'spiritual' pilgrimage where slides of the sacred sites of Abraham were shown," and the Pope led prayerful meditations.
With the right mindset and adequate spiritual preparation, Lilles said, a virtual pilgrimage can yield spiritual fruits.
"One who goes as a pilgrim goes to out of devotion to Christ who became a pilgrim for our sake, do penance for his own sins and the sins of our society, to ask for the mercy of God for forgiveness and healing, and to thank God for pouring out His loving kindness."