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Crossword clues for starets

  1. n. a religious adviser (not necessarily a priest) in the Eastern Orthodox Church

  2. [also: startsy (pl)]


A starets (; fem. ) is an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery who functions as venerated adviser and teacher. Elders or spiritual fathers are charismatic spiritual leaders whose wisdom stems from God as obtained from ascetic experience. It is believed that through ascetic struggle, prayer and Hesychasm (seclusion or withdrawal), the Holy Spirit bestows special gifts onto the elder including the ability to heal, prophesy, and most importantly, give effective spiritual guidance and direction. Elders are looked upon as being an inspiration to believers and an example of saintly virtue, steadfast faith, and spiritual peace.

Elders are not appointed by any authority; they are simply recognized by the faithful as being people "of the Spirit". An elder, when not in prayer or in voluntary seclusion, receives visitors (some who travel very far) and spends time conversing with them, offering a blessing (if the elder is an ordained cleric) and confession, and praying. People often petition the elder for intercessionary prayers, believing that the prayer of an elder is particularly effective.

Personal confessions to elders are encouraged, although not all of them are ordained to the priesthood. Many of them have a reputation among believers of being able to know the secrets of a person's heart without having ever previously met the visitor, and having the ability to discern God's plan for a person's life. This, as all of the elder's gifts, is believed to come from the Holy Spirit acting through the elder.

Usage examples of "starets".

As the starets spoke in his hypnotic monotone, an odorless, tasteless mist so fine as to be invisible wafted down from the pipes and nozzles concealed in the distant gloom of the ceiling.

Thanks to the starets, I realize the greatness of Russia must be rediscovered in its glorious history.

God-blessed starets was a mythic part of Russian culture, just as an American evangelist had to have a swept-back, blow-dried pompadour, drive a Cadillac, and use his hands as if he were chopping the air into blocks.

Which means that even if God existed, even if the mystery cloaked a truth, even if the starets Zosime were right, Ivan would not admit that truth should be paid for by evil, suffering, and the death of innocents.