Questions had lured me to take this pilgrimage to Assisi. Not only questions related to the lectures I would be giving to my fellow pilgrims in Assisi but questions about my own vocation and service. At retirement age, but still professionally active, healthy, and vital, I felt a new stirring. Francis’s life challenged me to look beyond the narrow circle of self-interest to embrace a vision of world loyalty that would encompass my family and the nation but expand to include the whole earth. I needed to translate my love for my grandchildren into care for vulnerable, starving, and imprisoned children across the globe and in my own nation. I needed to chart a way of life that would promote planetary healing for generations to come.
I needed to journey inward to build the foundation of the outward journey of faithful discipleship and ministry. I needed to reach out to the marginalized and forgotten from a quiet and energetic spiritual center. It was important for me to find the right balance between restlessness and peace, prophetic critique and conciliatory healing.
—from the book Walking with Francis of Assisi: From Privilege to Activism by Bruce Epperly