Most simply and yet most difficultly, Francis is saying that we cannot change the world except insofar as we have changed ourselves. We can only give away who we are. We can only offer to others what God has done in us. We have no real head answers. We must be an answer. We only know the other side of journeys that we have made ourselves. Francis walked to the edge and so he could lead others to what he found there.
Richard Rohr, from Hope Against Darkness
The journey to the edge is a different kind of pilgrimage. I think often we have each to live through own time when the Spirit drives us "out into the wilderness" - and like Jesus, whom we follow, we cannot do what we have been called to do until we have obeyed, and faced the darkness head on. How can we help people whose pain we cannot understand, or bring Christ to people whose lives are lived in lands we haven't dreamed of? Francis could have achieved nothing had he remained on his horse: it was only when he dismounted, and embraced the leper in the road's dust, that he was released into God's calling for life.