Jun 14, 2011

Patron Saint for those with ADHD?

In formation we are finishing up The Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila and on my own I am reading Interior Castle.  St. Theresa's writing is rambling and by her own admission her mind frequently wanders.  For those who like very ordered writing I wonder how they ever get through her writings.  Even with her frequent off topic musings, she expresses a humility and love of God that I can only aspire to.  And sets a wonderful example for those who struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  She shows that even with all ones faults a person can attain great things through God.

As my Bishop likes to say, "Catholics aren't good listeners."  And he's right.  Our minds wander while in prayer, at Mass, and especially during the homily.  Theresa advises that one close their eyes to worldly things and distractions so they can better focus on God.  She also talks about having the image of Jesus in your mind as if you were two normal people having a conversation.  Now I don't know about her, but to me Jesus is anything but a "normal person".

These two simple acts have greatly helped my sense of focus during prayer and while in church.  My understanding of the rituals and words have opened up greater depths of appreciation and love during Mass. It makes it seem less like a chore and more like a piece of art that unfolds in new and unique ways to express our love for God.  In prayer I have grown closer to Jesus as he sits patiently listening to me pour out my soul to him.  At times I curl in his lap like a young daughter who needs comfort and other times I look upon him from afar in awe of his greatness.  I am grateful for St. Theresa's beautiful testament and instruction.


Give me focus 
in my thoughts 
and in my actions

Curb my tongue
from impulsive words

Stay my hand
from impulsive deeds

Fill my heart
with patience

Let all that I do 
be a glory to your name



  1. Wouldn't ADHD/ADD fall under the patronageif St Dymphna?

  2. I wasn't familiar with St. Dymphna so I had to look her up. Since she is the patron Saint of mental illness, ADHD/ADD would fall under her patronage. I don't think it hurts to have more than one Saint that you can turn to for help, though.

  3. ADD/ADHD isn't, strictly speaking, a mental illness.

  4. From what I have learned and understand about ADHD. Is that is suffered differently among people; some experience symptoms worse than others. The sad part about this neurological disorder is that if it is not addressed with therapy, through education or medication while they are young and when they grow to adults its very hard to assimilate towards society expectations and many fall into low self esteem, depression, eventually drug addiction etc. and will not realize why there life is so hard.

  5. I like that there is a patron saint of A.D.D. who has the same name as me.

  6. I like that there is a patron saint of A.D.D. who has the same name as me.