The Staretz Never Came

When I was inquiring into Orthodox Christianity, I (and the group I was a part of) became convinced early on that we needed a staretz, an elder of profound holiness and insight to guide us. At the time, it made perfect sense. In the milieu from which we came, sincere earnestness was the primary—if not the only—indicator we had to spiritual vitality. And since we were an intensely earnest bunch of enquirers,…