In recent posts I've explored the role of the ego in your spiritual life generally, and prayer particularly. Rob added an important comment/correction that I think will help you: "I wanted to say that I think the ego is getting a bit of a bad press here," he comments. "My understanding is that the ego, in its Freudian sense, is that part of us which tries to mediate the demands of the id (unbridled instinct) and the superego (constricting legalism), as well as the pressures of the real world, to attempt to attain and sustain the health of the whole being." Rob, you're exactly right in your analysis, and in your warning and plea.

The ego is not bad (I do think I’ve said this). It must not be eradicated. Rather, it’s to be healed, restored, returned to its proper function. The ego, as I understand it, is a God-given faculty within us . . . part of the image of God. But because of the Fall (whatever that is), it’s not healthy. It does not properly mediate between the Id and Superego, but too often is nearly completely identified with them.

This is central to our problem as human beings, to our spiritual practice, to the union with God that is the mystery we are all intended to experience. I think sin is to a large extent this deep and “original” (that is, at the core of our being) misidentification of ourselves with our unhealthy egos. I’ve a hunch St. Paul might identify this wounded, broken ego with the “flesh” in his writings—”flesh” that is not to be discarded or abused or despised, but healed by it’s gathering into Jesus Christ. The Incarnation informs us here too.