Solesmes et... Therese !
As for everyone, the influences that guide a life are numerous, varied and complementary. This is obviously the case with Daniel JOËSSEL, in whom two influences emerge.
Because he tried it out, because he made several retreats there, because he had a cousin there and because the desire for a monastic and contemplative vocation never left Daniel, the abbey of Solesmes with what it represents - the contemplative life, the continual search for God - left its mark on Daniel.
The desire for the monastic life never really left him. He regularly thought of dedicating himself to it.
To understand this contemplative vocation, which was not physically realised in Daniel, the letter from his cousin, Dom Pierre NAU, a monk at Solesmes, sheds valuable light.
Daniel JOËSSEL, Paul NAU et Dom Pierre NAU
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
If Therese made an impression on him, it was not so much because he was at the Carmelite Seminary, but because the doctrine of Saint Therese had already begun to spread at a lightning speed and she responded, at a precise moment, to his search.
No doubt inspired by a member of the Seminary, Daniel, after going through a « crisis », found his way, thanks to Therese.
Here are the notes of François VEUILLOT, taken on 10 June 1941, during a conversation with Father NICOD, seminarian at the Carmelites at the same time as Daniel:
« On arriving at the Carmelite Seminary, a restless soul, had sought peace in Solesmes and had not found it, - was still seeking his way - worried about perfection.
Father DORANGE had a decisive influence, as he did on the whole Carmelite team at that time. He wanted sanctity, but aimed rather to conquer it by an intense and sustained effort; it was Father DORANGE who directed him towards abandonment, asking everything of God, expecting everything from Him [...].
This period of anxiety lasted about six months. Then came calm and balance. »
In his notes of retreats, Daniel JOËSSEL lets understand the importance of Therese in the moments he is going through.
Let us note some « Theresian » characteristics :
Give everything with joy
Pleasing Him, smiling at Him
The watchword: « Everything for your pleasure »
To love to the end, to give our lives, we say it, do we do it ?
Being a child, like Therese
Being a child - developing trust
Being a little child. St Peter, in Tabor, as a child, again, again
Peace also in my friendships, because I must love only in God
He is the Joy, since he is in us, who could take joy away from us ?
Not from us, but from Him: « Let me have the simplicity of my joy, since I cannot have pride in it.
His infinite mercy, which leads to boundless trust. »
I believe that now I truly have this confidence
Mercy; Joy of forgiveness, of growing with him
Holiness: the little things, all the important acts before God
When, in the midst of his activities in Asnières, Father JOËSSEL envisaged building a chapel, it was naturally dedicated to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus... After his death, once built, it was blessed in 1963 under the patronage of... Saint Daniel !