About Marina McCoy
Marina McCoy is an associate professor of philosophy at Boston College, where she teaches philosophy and in the BC PULSE service learning program. She is the author of Wounded Heroes: Vulnerability as a Virtue in Ancient Greek Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2013). She and her husband are the parents to a young adult and a teenager and live in the Boston area.

Walking the Labyrinth

Recently, I walked a labyrinth. There are many ways to walk a labyrinth. One can walk it in silent meditation, attentive to each step and breath. One can walk a labyrinth while praying a specific prayer or recalling one’s life journey. This time, as I entered the path, I felt called to pray God’s names on the way into the center, one name for each step. There are many Biblical names for God. For example, […]

Following Our Deepest Desires Like the Bees

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved honeybees. My grandfather raised them on his retirement farm, and I used to love to help him out at the hives. We’d go to harvest honey or simply to check in on the bees’ health. Bees fascinated me for the way that their hard cooperative work could produce something so sweet and gratuitous. This summer, in the midst of my summer retreat, I spent some time contemplatively […]

A Morning Offering

While on retreat this past summer, I spent a good deal of time praying for the grace of indifference and asking for the freedom to align my will more closely to God’s own will. Along the way, I read in Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits several versions of a Morning Offering, a prayer that offers one’s upcoming day to God. Inspired, I wrote my own version. Elements of it are based on Ignatius’s Suscipe; […]

Compost, Dorothy Day, and Transformation

Last year, we acquired a large compost bin to dispose of many of our leaves, weeds, and food waste. Our backyard compost bin is smelly. It’s stinky. In the spring, I placed the bin a few steps from the back door, with the thought that I’d be more motivated to throw away every eggshell and potato peel if it were nearby. Fast-forward to late summer, and the location made sitting outdoors unpleasant. The pungent odors […]

Contemplation in Action

Contemplation in action is about learning how to be, learning how to see, and learning how to love. Learning How to Be Contemplation is first about learning how to be and surrendering our very being to God’s grace. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Before I can act, I need to know that it is good simply to be myself before God, loved as a person with both gifts and faults. […]

Wading into the Ocean

Ignatian spirituality often focuses on being attentive to the nature of our own desires, especially in discernment. Ignatius discovered that following God’s will is not a question of repressing our desires but rather of getting to know better what we really want. Our deepest desires sometimes are not what we initially think them to be. For example, many college students begin with a concern to earn good grades, to prepare to get a job, and […]

Three Attitudes That Can Help Us Celebrate for 50 Days

It’s the end of the semester where I teach, and while there are many goodbyes, there are also many invitations. There are invitations to the final meetings for student organizations; to formal dinners to celebrate particular campus groups; a sudden flurry of invitations to lunch with colleagues whom I have been meaning to see all semester; an invitation to celebrate a retirement; and then, of course, graduation. I recently hosted 20 students from one of […]

Living Our Way into Easter Joy

I’m often struck by friends who note how much harder it can be to “feel” Easter than to experience Lent. Somehow the reflection on sin and suffering comes more easily to many than experiencing joy and redemption. However, in this we are not alone: the disciples, too, have difficulty at first absorbing the fullness of Resurrection joy. In many Resurrection scenes, we find Jesus offering reconciliation. In John’s Gospel, Jesus goes to the disciples who […]

Where Have We Not Yet Surrendered Our Lives to God?

Many of us give up something as part of a Lenten fast. Fasting helps us in our almsgiving in having more to give away to others, serves as a penitential offer for past wrongdoing, and unites us in solidarity to those who are hungry. Fasting is good, especially if we keep in mind it is a means and not an end in itself. But as we move through these days and weeks of Lent, we […]

Lenten Meditation 2: The Lie at the Heart of Human Sinfulness

The lie at the heart of human sinfulness is that we can gain control of our existence by some action of our own and that God does not want us to have this power. God creating human beings in God’s own likeness is described in the first creation account in Genesis. But instead of accepting the friendship with God that was offered, human beings chose to enter into rivalry with God. The consequences of that […]

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