Recalling his own Holy Land pilgrimage experience, Monsignor Peter Vaghi explores three significant events in the life of the early Church that can be traced back to the Upper Room in Jerusalem (sometimes called the “Cenacle”) in order to guide us to a deeper appreciation and understanding of living the Christian life in prayer, worship and service. Each of the book’s three parts is dedicated to one of these key moments in the history of our faith: the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, the post-resurrection appearances of Christ to his followers, and the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles at Pentecost. The walk with the Lord is a continued encounter with Him in the power of Holy Spirit. In Meeting God in the Upper Room, Monsignor Vaghi captures the various integral ways in which we continue in our day to meet the Risen Lord—in the sacraments; in our prayer lives; in our profession of Easter faith; in our works of charity and service; in our devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother; in the experience of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; in the call to evangelize and our efforts to evangelize in our own day—in our homes, workplaces, places of leisure, in our travel. All of these make up the rich and continued spiritual legacy of that Upper Room and what happened there. In writing about the Upper Room, Monsignor Vaghi tells of not just its historical significance, but its profound spiritual significance. It was there that Christ and his disciples retreated from the world in order to teach and learn, respectively, how they could carry on the faith. And as we set aside time to enter the “Upper Room” of our own life, we discover that Jesus is waiting to meet us there as well.
Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi is pastor of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Maryland, and a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington. He received seminary and theological training at the Pontifical North American College and Gregorian University, both in Rome. Msgr. Vaghi was designated “Prelate of Honor” by St. John Paul II in 1995, and has served since 1987 as chaplain of the John Carroll Society, a group of professional men and women in service of the Archbishop of Washington. He is the author of Encountering Jesus in Word, Sacraments, and Works of Charity as well as the Pillars of Faith series. He has also written articles for America, Priest, and Our Sunday Visitor and contributed to two collections of writings on priestly spirituality: Behold Your Mother and Born of the Eucharist.