DISCIPLE: "I have come to you with nothing in my hands."
MASTER: "Then drop it at once!"
DlSCIPLE: "But how can I drop it? It is nothing."
MASTER: "Then carry it around with you! You can make a possession of your nothing. And carry your renunciation around you like a trophy. Don't drop your possessions. Drop your ego."1
Death to self is necessary in order to live for God. A crucifixion of the ego is required. That is why mature Christian prayer inevitably leads to the purification of what St. John of the Cross called the dark night of the senses and the spirit which, through loneliness and aridity, buries egoism and leads us out of ourselves to experience God.
Celebrate the Darkness, Brennan Manning - Page 1