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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, July 14, 2014

St. Teresa of ADHD

I was wondering if there is one for females who have ADHD?

I go out on a limb here and offer up St. Teresa of Avila. She is well known to be such a marvelous thinker, a person whose works have everything to do with her ability to concentrate, to lead a life of contemplative prayer so deep as to cause spiritual ecstasies and whose body of writings and work is do deep that she has been declared a Doctor of the Church.

ADHD? Where does that come in?

If you just do a quick internet googly search of St. Teresa, you'll see nothing but beautiful, coherent writings. For example (my personal favorite):

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


 That's because all you'll come up with is her greatest hits, so to speak. The Best of St. Teresa of Avila.

But if you actually try to slog through her actual writing...well, you'll feel like you have ADHD.  They are often rather meandering, taking side trips. She digresses. A lot. You'll need a nap.

And one of her frequent topics, unfortunately not found on her greatest hits album was her long road to be able to concentrate.  She really had a problem with that. She was a flibberty gibbet. She talks about that a lot. A lot.

But she very much overcame that.  Which is why I offer her as your girl patron saint for ADHD. As I understand it, the main treatment for ADHD is to learn coping strategies. Honestly, that was St. Teresa's whole life. One long coping strategy, which led her to the astonishing life she led. She didn't start out trying to be a mystic saint or a Doctor of the Church. She was just trying to concentrate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks that is great to know.
I will show this to my daughter. She chose St. John of God for her confirmation because of here ADHD and your post about him. Her teacher would have preferred St. Theresa but I think St. John of God suited her - like most teens she wants to be unique and is idealistic but still tries to follow the rules.