Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble doesn't do anything halfway.
When she left behind her Catholic upbringing, she didn't just leave the church: She became an atheist. When she became a teacher, it was through Teach for America at an inner-city school in Miami. When she wanted to make a change in her life, she left everything and moved to Costa Rica to work on a farm. When she came back to Catholicism, she didn't just renew her faith: She joined religious life with the Daughters of St. Paul.
So when Noble became fascinated by the ancient Christian practice of memento mori — keeping an object nearby to remind you of your mortality — she went all in: She keeps a small ceramic skull on her desk and tweets the thoughts it inspires every day. Ash Wednesday was Day 214 of the project.
Despite the morbid connotations, most of Noble's tweets about death aren't really about death at all. They're about eternal life in Jesus Christ.
"Every day our bodies are closer to natural death. But if we believe in Jesus, 'streams of living water will flow from within' us (Jn 7:38)," she wrote on Day 170.
When the Rev. Billy Graham died on Day 211, she quoted him, saying, "The way we view death determines, to a surprising degree, the way we live our lives;" and on Day 213, she tweeted: "Death tries to creep into our hearts in a myriad of ways throughout the day. Defy it in the power of Jesus Christ."
Noble, 36, is studying philosophy and theology at Boston College and is an editor for Pauline Books and Media.