Father Beyzym confessed once that he was quite hot-headed by his nature. He also added that probably St Ignatius Loyola, who was impulsive too, but became so patient and placid later that was taken for a phlegmatic, interceded with Our Lord for him to exercise himself in patience, since Our Lord “still tells him to wait and wait”. Father had in mind the process of waiting for the leprosarium construction to begin and to be completed. “Obviously Our Lord Jesus wants to teach me some patience”, - wrote Father in his letter to Father Provincial in Krakow. At that time Father Beyzym, having been bitten by an insect, stayed in the infirmary in Antananarivo.
ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF GOD
A lot of things went slowly and heavily for Father Beyzym, for example, the learning of Malagasy, the lepers catechization, saying nothing about the leprosarium construction. He waited patiently and for a long time for the letters from his homeland because of the strikes in the ports of France. “I am going through a good school of patience, but do not lose the hope”.
In his work for the lepers Father experienced, practically speaking, exactly the same that he contemplated in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. He really trained himself in holy indifference, i.e preparedness for overcoming everything in patience and absolute submission to the will of God, especially if it went about restraints, “those splints of God’s Cross”.
The consciousness that it was Our Lord and His Holy Mother’s will was a great comfort for Father Beyzym to endure his hardships and troubles patiently and for better days expectation. “If there were not for Our Holy Mother’s will, for Who I endure everything abidingly, I would put the best foot forward”.
Constant troubles and drawbacks demanded from Father Beyzym a lot of patience. He often prayed and asked others to pray for that. The complications he met on the part of the Bishop Jean Batiste Cazet annoyed him a lot, but Father endured them patiently and was happy that he had something to offer to God and wrote about “those splints of God’s Cross” again, simmering with indignation, though.
Everything - the construction (toilsome and constantly postponed) and difficulties of all kinds that were connected with it “were paid for with great patience”. Father knew that for Our Lord’s will fulfillment in obedience and love for the lepers, one should last faithfully and patiently to the end.
MARY THAT GIVES COMFORT AND STRENGTH
From the very beginning of his work for the lepers Father pleaded to Mary to contract the illness as a grace. It was not about the reward for his sins, but about the begging for the better fate for his patients. Father wanted to tell Our Lord Jesus: ”Animam meam dedi pro, fratribus meis” – “I have given my life for, my brothers”. And he added the words full of courage:”… and will putrefy patiently”. Suffering and patience went together for Father Beyzym and were the obvious need to be put up with. “One need to suffer as a man is sinful”.
Our Holy Mother was his strength and comfort. All his sufferings were dedicated to Her and to Polish Province of Father’s order. Our Lady was his lifelong and reliable help in all his deeds and sufferings. St Joseph, alongside with Mary, was a model of patience for Father Beyzym. When he had been waiting for long years for the decision with regard to his Sakhalin mission, Father saw the necessity to accept God’s will and follow St Joseph, who had been waiting in Egypt for the Angel’s word telling him to return to the land of Israel.
Father Beyzym’s life, especially the years he devoted to the work for the lepers (Father never complained about that and about them) were full of disappointments, troubles, obstacles and obstruction. If there were not for his gift of patience, Father would not carry such a burden. “I do not complain; do not feel sorry for myself for my troubles and difficulties. Fiat voluntas Dei. God’s will to be done”.
Only the spirit of faith, the vision of faith in the continual praying for the help of God and His Holy Mother, only the power of the Eucharist and the strength of the compassion for the miserable, gave Father the power to endure to the end. During his last illness he was admired for his patience and courageousness. “By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21,19), - was one of the mottoes of Father Beyzym’s life. And he lived up to it.
Fr Mieczyslaw Bednarz SJ