As I mentioned yesterday, my Heroic Minute was rather un-heroic.  Actually, it was a total bust. As he day wore on I found myself more and more discouraged about it. Thoughts began to enter my head that sounded something like this:Why bother trying – what does it even matter whether or not you hit the snooze button?Who do you think you are even attempting this challenge?Just quit.I recognize the source of those thoughts as my own insecurities fueled by adversary who likes nothing better than to condemn and discourage. The truth is, we all have moments in our striving to be holy when we will stumble and fall.  Many moments. Many moments every single day to be more precise. The key to handling those moments is to pick oneself up, dust oneself off, ask the Lord for help and forgiveness and begin again.  Discouragement and defeat are not part of our vocabulary as Christians. God’s word reassures us that he is the God of new beginnings – and each morning when our alarm rings the Lord greets us with a fresh outpouring of his mercy and grace. In Lamentations 3:22-23 we read:  “The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent. They are renewed each morning – great is your faithfulness.”Optimism and PerseveranceSt. Josemarie Escriva’s works are chock full of examples of the two attitudes that we need to demonstrate in the face of the inevitable difficulties and setbacks of life: optimism and perseverance. In one passage he unites the two themes saying: “Discouragement is an enemy of your perseverance. If you don’t fight against discouragement you will become pessimistic first, and lukewarm afterwards. Be an optimist.” (The Way 988) I particularly love this exhortation: “Oh blessed perseverance of the donkey that turns the water-wheel! Always the same pace. Always the same