PRAYER IN FATHER BEYZYM’S LIFE
Father Beyzym prayed, asked for a prayer and strongly believed in its effectiveness. His letters to Father Marcin Czerminski, Krakow Carmelites and other people were full of appeals for a prayer, thanks for a prayer and assurance in praying for them. There was not a letter where the prayer was not mentioned. From his letters we get the idea that Father Beyzym was a person who needed a prayer as air to breathe.
THE SOUL WAS HUNGRY FOR GOD AND A PRAYER
He used to say humbly that his prayers did not worth a lot, yet he prayed for his friends, benefactors, for his “black birds” (the way he used to call his protégées), for sinners, for everyone. “I persistently pray for you”, - he wrote to Father Czerminski. “I pray for you constantly”, - he assured Father Kraupa.
In his letter to Mother Magdalena from Lobzow Carmel he wrote that he liked the Lenten period, the peace and calmness of the evenings and nights. Then he was alone with Our Lord and His Holy Mother. “What a great time to pray!” And what a joy it was, when the presence of Jesus in tabernacle radiated in the silence of the night.
There was a deep, may be even mystical feature in this fondness of the silent, solitary contact with God during the evening hours after the long day of the tiresome work. His prayer, based on the “Contemplation on the Love of God” (St.Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, 231–237) craved for, searched for and found God in everything, in the entire reality and nature, full of Devine presence and activity. Looking at the plants, the trees, the sky in the silence of the evening garden he could feel the presence and the might of God the Creator. “Everything is forgotten. The soul craves for the Heaven”. The evening silence in the leprosarium when the patients fell asleep, reminded the silence of Carmel to him. That was the best time for praying.
He complained to Mother Kazimiera that his life for the lepers was too far from the contemplation as it was too busy, because of the necessity. But it had to be like that for the good of “his black poor fellows”. He loved his hard life as it was devoted to Jesus and His Holy Mother. He wished to live in the incessant prayer and contemplation, but the work for the lepers and at the construction site absorbed him. His soul craved for contemplation, for austere asceticism (as if he did not have enough of it), so he “tried to catch up with short prayers, but the soul was hungry for God and a prayer”. He often repeated humbly that his prayer had little worth, that he had difficulties praying. And that was the reason why he so earnestly asked Carmel for a prayer. He thought about the prayers in the silence of the evenings and it encouraged him. He claimed that contemplative orders complemented active orders and it comforted him.
IF I WERE NOT SUPPORTED BY PRAYERS
All his concerns: the leprosarium construction, the Sakhalin mission he shared with Father Czerminski, Carmelites and Ursulines. Nearly each letter to his addressees he finished requesting prayers, particularly to Our Holy Mother. He entrusted himself to Her care asking for protection. He particularly entrusted “his miserable lepers and their unworthy servant” to prayers.
When catholic missions on Madagascar were threatened with secularization and the expulsion of the missionaries, Father Beyzym heartily asked Father Czerminski and via him all the Fathers and Brothers of Galician Province, Carmelites to pray for the danger escaping.
Despite all the difficulties he suffered, he believed that he would be able to do something for the glory of God and His Holy Mother, because the sisters-Carmelites were praying for him. He prayed and asked the Saints (St. Stanislaw Kostka, St. Iosafat Kuntsevych) to be his intercessors with God. He harbored a deep reverence for St. Teresa of Jesus and believed that she would intercede for him with God.
From the very beginning of his stay on Madagascar he dreamed to found Polish Carmel on the island. He wanted to have radiant with prayer and imploring God’s graces sisters close to him. He was sure that if Polish Carmel had been on Madagascar, everything would have turned out much better, “because one Carmelite could achieve more with her prayer than ten missionaries by their hard work”. Father Beyzym’s belief in the effectiveness of the prayer went hand in hand with his humbleness. “If I had not been supported by prayers, I would not have done anything with my inability in all respects”. Everything in his work for the lepers, his missionary vocation, the place for the leprosarium construction, good and abundant spring water, mastering of the Malagasy language, literally everything, he entrusted and owed to the payers, above all, the prayers of Krakow Carmelites. It were “they who did everything for him”. He entrusted the whole self to their prayers, as owing to their prayers, Our Holy Mother helped him. It were they who “built the leprosarium with their prayers”, let them get it finished. They were not refused anything from Jesus.
Father Beyzym believed in the effectiveness of the child’s prayer. He asked Mother Ksawera to encourage Sobanski children to pray for him, especially during the St. Communion.
Fr Mieczyslaw Bednarz SJ