Hunger For The Divine Essay, Research Paper
“People long to go on pilgrimages, and pious wanderers to visit strange lands and far-off shrines in different countries.”
The Later Middle Ages were a time with many conflicting issues and positions. On one hand there was the church officials who were constantly fighting in their own ranks. The Great Schism is a great example of church quarreling. France and its satellite nations all recognized Clement VII while the rest of Europe agreed that Urban VI was the one true pope. On the other hand, religious reformers Eckhart who believed that if you renounced all sense of selfhood one could go back into your innermost recesses and God would be there. John Wyclif believed that there were a predetermined number of humans who would be saved while the rest had no hope of salvation. He believed that those would were predetermined would naturally lead simple lives but he found that many of the church officials were indulging in riches and leading extravagant lives. So Wyclif concluded that these church officials were damned.
Lay people were torn between the church and the sound advice that contradicted the church. People were trying to embark on a pilgrimage of the heart and soul. Christians were lost in a vast sea of lies from church officials and new and unorthodox ways to worship God. The most common route traveled for the divine was performing repeated acts of external devotion like Hail Mary’s and religious processions.
The politically torn church and the realization of reformers like Eckhart and Wyclif caused all the “hunger for the divine.” People were easily led and swayed due to the economic depression and the deadly plague that had ravaged the continent. Christians were looking for answers to their prayers and assurances from the church that never
came. The reformers and radicals gave them hope and a road to travel that would lead them to God.