Monks and priests dedicated to the church feared that the church had begun drifting from the old ways and that the rich church leaders did not possess enough spirituality and were corrupted by wealth.
They're not spiritual enough . . .
Some people wanted to fix some of the practices in the church that they considered wrong, or reform it. The person that sparked this idea was Martin Luther. Before any of this occurred, though, Martin Luther was just one of eight children in a German peasant family and an excellent student.
I've worked hard in the mines so you can attend a university. You are to study law there.
Time after time, Martin Luther began to have brushes with death. One of these occurred on summer night in the midst of a storm, where a bolt of lightning knocked him to the ground. If he survived the storm, he vowed that he would give his life to God.
St. Anne, help me!
Martin Luther did end up surviving the storm, and as a result, he became a monk, pledging himself to God. Because of all the hard work his father put in so he could go to the university, he was disappointed.
I devote myself to God . . .
At first, Luther thought the only way he could get into heaven was to do good, give to the poor, confess his sins, and live according to all of the ways of the church.
I will never be good enough to go to heaven. God is a stern judge who will condemn me.
Luther would spend hours on end studying the Bible, which caused his thinking to change. He then began to believe that one could only be saved by their faith in God. He also believed priests were unnecessary for obtaining forgiveness for their sins. This threatened the church and how much people really needed priests.
God is not a stern judge, but a loving father instead . . .