Francis follows in the footsteps of Jesus, and that is where most of us falter. We want to follow Jesus’ footsteps, but we know ahead of time where they lead, and we are afraid. We hold back. In his writings Francis never uses the word imitate in relation to Christ; instead he uses the phrase, “to follow in the footsteps of Christ”; Christ’s invitation was to “follow me” (Matthew 10:38), not “imitate me.” In following Christ the self one thinks has been lost is actually found, so that as one walks in the footsteps of Christ a whole and realized true self begins to emerge.
—from the book Mystics: Twelve Who Reveal God's Love by Murry Bodo, OFM