There are some things in life we cannot control. Most of us, for example, are not very good at controlling other people's hearts and minds. However, when it comes to our intellectual faculties, there is a lot we can do. Of course, when it is difficult, we have to really want to do it. For example, since January I have wanted to lose weight and do a proper Spring Cleaning of our flat. I have lost at least 14 pounds, but I have not done a proper Spring Cleaning of our flat. I suspect this is because I really wanted to lose weight, but I didn't really want to get on my hands and knees and scrub. Mea culpa (whack), mea culpa (whack), mea maxima, maxima culpa (whack, whack).
Another thing I really, really want to do is become fluent in Polish, for various reasons, including wanting to know what it is like when one's brain makes the switch into second-language fluency. However, as I don't live in Poland, or in a Polish-speaking household, and am over thirty, I expect this fluency to take some time. Meanwhile, I promised Alicja over at Dzielne Niewasty (Brave Women) to translate my speech about Saint Edith Stein into Polish, and eleven days later I have stopped procrastinating and have begun this difficult task.
Here are the original two paragraphs:
The concept of “theology” may sound complicated, but it is very simple. St. Ambrose of Milan defined theology as “faith seeking understanding.” Any time you seek to understand a truth of faith, you are doing theology; you are a theologian. Every Catholic who believes what the Church teaches and seeks to understand what it is that he believes is a theologian.
However, there are men and women who dedicate their entire lives to reading the works of the greatest, most insightful Catholic theologians, who themselves had read the work of major and minor theologians before them. Seminarians must read theology, but only a few priests are allowed to dedicate their lives to studying and writing it. The same is true for many religious sisters, and few lay men and women can both study theology full-time and support their families.
And here is the first draft of my translation. I am sure it is riddled with errors, and I will send it to Polish Pretend Son, begging him to fix it.
Pojęcie teologii może wydawać skomplikowane, ale to jest bardzo proste. Sw. Ambroży z Mediolanu zdefiniał teologię jako "wiara w poszukiwaniu rozumienia." Kiedykolwiek szukacie rozumieć prawdę wiary, robiscie teologię--wy jestecie teologami. Każdy Katolik który wierszy co który uczy Kościół i szuka rozumieć który co to jest że on wierzy jest teologiem.
Jednak są mężczyzny i kobiety którzy poświęcają ich całe życia czytaniu książk najwielkszych, najwnikliwszych katolickich teologów, którze siebie odczytać książky głownych i niewielkich teologów przed nimi. Seminarzyści muszą studiować teologię ale tylko kilku kapłanom wolno poświęcić ich życia studiowaniu i pisanie tego. To samo jest prawdziwe dla wielu zakonnic, i niewielu świecki może zarówno się uczyć teologię na pełnym etacie, jak utrzymywać ich rodziny.
Oh heavens. Two and a half years of study, two dictionaries and two verb handbooks went into that. But it's like losing weight: there are no overnight solutions. And I did it in less than an hour, so that is a vast improvement!