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.

Contact: Website

God Has Hope in Us

Advent is a season of hope and expectant waiting. Yet we are faced with many global crises such as climate change, war, poverty, and racism. I find that in looking at the world and its suffering, my own heart is often filled with grief, especially as I wonder about the effects of climate change on my children and grandchildren’s generations. God grants us freedom to act for love, peace, and justice, but also the freedom […]

Finding God in Negative Emotions

While we often rightly emphasize the role of consolation in Ignatian spirituality, I have recently been thinking more about finding God in negative emotions. I don’t here mean when we feel sadness, anger, disappointment, or other strong emotions, that God comes to comfort, soothe, or encourage us. That’s also true, but here I am thinking of cases in which negative emotions—that is, emotions that don’t feel good—already indicate the presence of God. Here are three […]

Setting Down Our Nets

When Jesus calls the fishermen Peter and Andrew, he tells them, “Come follow me.” In response, the new disciples experience a new desire and put down their nets to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19–20). We, too, can also have various “nets” that can limit our capacity to follow Jesus more closely. One way to pray with this passage is to consider the question: What are my own nets? In the Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius names […]

Sabbath as a Gift

This coming academic year, I have a sabbatical from teaching at my academic institution. I’m thankful to have long periods of time to work on a research project without interruption, when normally I must try to discern how to juggle teaching, service, and research. The term “sabbatical” is rooted in the notion of Sabbath or Hebrew shabbath, to rest from work. While I have already begun writing, I have also been exploring more deeply how […]

Leaving Behind the Shoes

About halfway into my time on the Camino de Santiago, my toes began to develop blisters. I had planned my footwear carefully, researching many conflicting shoe recommendations on websites where fellow travelers on the Camino had shared their advice: hiking boots vs. shoes, trail runners with or without waterproofing; half a dozen different recommendations on socks. I tried on at least nine or ten different pairs of shoes at three different outdoor shops, before finally […]

On the Camino, Everywhere Is Home, and Yet…

I recently returned from walking part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, along with other faculty colleagues exploring the continuation of a recent course for students on pilgrimage. Seven of us traveled through mountains and forest trails, via small cities and pig farms, walking 12 to 16 miles a day with all our necessities carried in our backpacks. While I am still integrating what the experience means to me, a few moments stand out. […]

Touch Heals and Restores

While all of our senses help us to learn and to know about the world, the sense of touch is perhaps the most intimate. Our skin defines our very boundaries as physical persons and is a point of connection to other people, nature, and objects in our world. All of us had fundamental experiences of touch in our receiving nurture as babies: we were held when we were fed, rocked and soothed when upset, and […]

Disney’s Lesson for Finding the Hidden Christ

Among my family’s summer vacation plans is a trip to Disney World to celebrate our new college graduate. While it has been more than a decade since our last visit, I remember a certain amount of wearily standing in line for rides and food. Luckily, Disney makes waiting in line a bit more enjoyable by providing themed decor in their waiting areas. Visitors can also hunt for “hidden Mickeys,” places where the shape of Mickey […]

Resting in the Lord’s Gaze

“How do you, Lord, look at me? What do you feel in your heart for me?” —John Eagan, SJ (from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits) As Christians, most of us desire to cultivate the capacity to love others well. We also have a deep desire to be loved, known, and seen as we really are. A simple practice that St. Ignatius Loyola encourages before prayer in the Spiritual Exercises is to begin by placing […]

Four Ways to Receive Joy

Easter is a 50-day-long season of celebration. As Christians, we often undertake Lenten practices but often do not undertake Easter practices past the first day of Easter. One reason may be that joy, peace, and other consolations are gifts from God. They mostly do not depend on an act of our own will. I often think of joy as the flower that blossoms when the plant of love has been well-tended. How, then, can we […]

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