I received this from my dear friend Will and just love it! It's from a message written by Fr. Richard Rohr, and it really resonates with me:
St. Catherine of Siena in her Dialogues pictures the spiritual life as a large tree:
The trunk of the tree is love.
She says the core of the tree, that middle part that must be alive for the rest of the tree to be alive, is patience.
The roots of the tree are self-knowledge.
The many branches, reaching out into the air, are discernment.
(Note she recognizes much more subtlety is needed than mere black-and-white answers.)
In other words, says Catherine, love does not happen without patience, self-knowledge and discernment.
Today we have little encouragement toward honest self-knowledge or training in spiritual discernment from our churches. By nature, most of us are not very patient. All of which means, love is not going to be very common. We need St. Catherine's tree again."