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 two young adults and live in the Boston area.
Contact: Website

Rooted in the Midst of Change

In the Easter season, the first readings at Mass feature the Apostles as they undertake their missions. They are out in the world, preaching, healing, baptizing, and ministering to others. These early Christians are on the road. They travel to those who need healing, care, community, and the hope of the Gospel. From one day to the next, I find it hard to keep up with just where, geographically, Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and the others […]

Experiencing Easter

I can think of many instances when the Easter season has liturgically fit with my life: times when there was new life as I anticipated the birth of a new baby, or a family member’s health had improved, or a relationship was reconciled. Other times, the season has felt out of line with my life: after a death of a loved one, or when I realized that the habit I had hoped to change during […]

A Patient Lent

When March rolls around in New England, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring and new plant life, only to discover that, same as last year, meteorological spring comes a lot sooner than the “spring” soil that allows the ground to be workable and new life to emerge. I am not an especially patient person. I hate waiting and doing nothing and the frustration that ensues when the ground and cold weather seem […]

Sharing the Wisdom: What I Learned from My Grandfather About Courage and Nature

When I was a child, my brother and I spent long summers with my grandparents on their retirement farm outside of Cornwall, Ontario. My grandparents were both immigrants from Latvia and often offered perspective or advice from their old country. Most of what I learned from them came in the form of storytelling. In 1944, my grandmother gave birth in a hospital with bombed-out windows and little heat in the December cold. After recovering from […]

The Magi and Contemplation

When the magi see the star and come to visit the Christ Child, they see the baby and fall down and worship God’s presence there. When I have prayed with this story imaginatively, my focus is rarely on the magi themselves. Almost inevitably my gaze turns to the baby Jesus. What could be more natural when there is a newborn infant in the room? When I was a young mother, I used to enjoy just […]

Three Characteristics of Advent Waiting

Advent is a time of waiting. But not all kinds of waiting are alike. In Advent, we wait in a special way. 1. Advent waiting is expectant. Many years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I felt a deep connection to Mary in the Nativity stories. As I noticed my stomach beginning to swell, awaited feeling the first kicks, and wondered what it would mean to become a mother, I waited with an […]

Time in Silence

For the past several months, I have been building in one monthly retreat day into my calendar, on the advice of a spiritual director. I had been complaining that although I try to set aside an hour to pray in silence in the morning, I often long for the longer spaces of silence a time of retreat provides. Time in silence is nourishing and grounding. Silence gives the space to hear God speak, whether through […]

Five Easy Ways to Build Prayer into Your Day

Too busy to pray? Here are five easy ways to build a little prayer into the day. Try a “mini Examen” just before lunch, dinner, or going to sleep. Pause to thank God for good gifts from the day, and notice where God was present. Gratitude is at the heart of prayer. (And the full Examen doesn’t take that long, either!) Slow down and take a walk. On the way to an appointment? Instead of […]

Finding Space for Play and Wonder

In Plato’s dialogue Theaetetus, Socrates says, “All philosophy begins in wonder” (155d). I recently thought of this in the midst of a discussion of Jesus’ idea that one must be a child to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Children love to ask “why” questions. Why are there clouds in the sky? Why do birds sing? Why do all the flowers not bloom at the same time? Some questioning is about a desire […]

Ten Things Forgiveness Is Not

Forgiveness is not the acceptance of injustice. Forgiveness is not a reason to keep things the way they always have been. Forgiveness is not incompatible with loving anger. Forgiveness does not eliminate the need for mutual communication. Forgiveness is not yet reconciliation. Forgiveness is not a moment but a process. Forgiveness does not forget history. Forgiveness does not create illusions but engages deeply with what is real. Forgiveness is not a straight line. Forgiveness is […]

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