A gentle reminder is that the Dark Night is a grace, but one offered to all. How long it takes is up to God. For some, it lasts months and for some years. Again, one is reminded of Blessed Mother Teresa's 50 years in the Dark Night. She lived by faith for a long time.
It seems as though John of the Cross endured a relatively short Dark Night-of nine months. His imprisonment and harsh treatment pushed him into the Dark Night as God allowed. The poverty of spirit which is needed to enter the Illuminative and Unitive states is, as Kavanaugh points out, a result of a process started by God.
A person cannot initiate this process but a person can stop it, sadly. Do not stop this process by asking for relief or by being ungracious. A stingy heart does not go into the Dark Night
One of the most important aspects of this achievement of purity of spirit, is that one does not find out what one's "immense capacities", as Kavanaugh notes, for dong God's work are and for being one with God is without it. Again, as I have stated, this is the great weakness of the Church, that too many leaders, both lay and clergy, have not responded to the grace of the Dark Night and are working out of ego and selfishness, not God's grace.
There are no short cuts.
to be continued....