Prayerful and Simple Life
Sr. Rani Maria was a person of prayer. She drew strength and energy to carry on with her work from her deep prayer life. She managed to find a proper synthesis between prayer and work, between action and contemplation. Her own words are clear enough to prove this: "Prayer is the soul of the Missionary Apostolate. Not a day should pass without having said a word about Jesus. The mission of the social worker is to present God to the people. We are all children of God."
Bishop Abraham Mattom notes: "Sr. Rani Maria was convinced that only a prayerful life will lead one with a close communion with Christ. Only with this prayerfulness can the religious life become holy and dedicated." Sr. Lisa Rose recollects: “Sr. Rani Maria used to get up every day early in the morning at 4 o’ clock. She spent a lot of time in personal prayer. Afterwards she took part in the community prayer in an active way. She was enthusiastic and creative in leading the community prayer. She prayed for priests. She was very respectful towards them."
Sr. Marianna notes: “Prayer was Sr. Rani Maria's source of strength the powerful weapon. She used to write to me about the initiation and the growth of prayer groups in Udainagar in glowing terms". Sr. Sajna observes: "Sr. Rani Maria used to take me with her on visits to the villages. We started our journey after a prayer in the convent chapel together with a reading of the Bible. On the way we used to recite the rosary and other prayers. When we saw the poor people our conversation used to be on the ways and means to help them. Seldom she spoke about her personal problems. She reminded me of the importance of my call to be a missionary. I learnt from Sr. Rani Maria to strike a balance between prayer and work".
Sr. Selmy Paul, younger sister of Sr. Rani Maria remembers: "After my Religious Profession, I was stationed in the Provincial House for some time. It was as usual a busy place. After my work I was tired and I could not find enough time for my personal prayers. One day she called me aside and said, "It is good to do a lot of work. But that alone would not suffice. You should find time to pray also in your busy schedule."
About Sr. Rani Maria's prayer life Sr. Infant Mary has the following to say: "When we analyze the personality of Sr. Rani Maria, she was a person of zealous activity, and heroic sanctity. She was able to enrich her life by her close and intimate union with God."
Sr. Rani Maria had a new vision of Religious Life. She was of opinion that such a life should be very simple in nature. As an evangelizer and a social worker among the poor people, she wanted to live among them as one of them. She described what would have been her future plans: "I prefer a simple life style, because such a life style is encouraged by the ecclesial spirit of the Church in order to face the challenges of today. "The Church is rich and it is with the rich' - is an often heard criticism. Only a simple life style can change this sort of mental approach towards the Church. I do not like to be alone in this venture. I would prefer to have at least four members who prefer the same life style; the simple way of life of the Gospel. The Superiors may examine those members who prefer this simple life-style to discern their motivation and interest. After this they should prepare them to decide for themselves to opt for the simple style of life. It is better to know beforehand if they are fit for this sort of community life and that they enjoy sound physical health. When we pray together to the Holy Spirit to take a decision, He will bless us by providing us whatever we need. Allow Him to do everything. Let us all pray for this end as the most urgent need of the Church today. Let us all seek His Will and wish that only His Will be done.
"I desire to lead a simple way of life according to the charism of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation. The significance of the existing style of life of religious communities is becoming less and less meaningful. The existing religious life style is a far cry from the ordinary peoples' style of life, who cannot grasp the meaning and value of religious life...The deep faith in God, the Father and total trust in the Divine Providence of St. Francis, inspired me to have desire to lead a simple way of life. Before following such a life style, there is great sacrifice and total renunciation. Therefore, I hope and believe that there will be more goodness. Where there is sacrifice, there will be growth in spiritual life. I expect from the Superiors encouragement and initiative towards the launching of such a life style."