Late medieval English mysticism and devotion was shaped by the preaching of the friars. This article studies the Lenten cycle of sermons in an English Franciscan preacher's handbook from the late thirteenth century, demonstrating that the preacher paid much less attention to confession or the sacraments in general than might have been expected, preferring the more subtle and interior aspects of Christian life. This both presumed and created a lay audience able to profit from more advanced spiritual teaching.

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