Raissa makes it clear, as do the great saints who write on the Unitive State, that this cannot happen until one gets to passive contemplation.
I have written on this before, but want to clarify that active contemplation is in the will and passive contemplation is totally initiated by God.
I am struck over and over when I discuss these levels with people how many think that they do not have to start with obedience.
The devil can counterfeit gifts and even experiences in prayer, which is why the saints tell us to ignore experiences.
Most people want the sweeties and not the suffering of purgation. Satan can counterfeit all the gifts. Suffering is the only way to union, because we are sinful creatures.
Raissa notes that love of neighbor flows from union with God. One would expect this, but it is so simple and so obvious that one can overlook this fact.
One of the problems with those who insist on experiences is that they are putting off or even, running away from the Dark Night.
Remember, there is less merit and perhaps none gained until one is purified.
See my previous posts on merit. But, here is Raissa on this point. And, her comment partially answers my thoughts and queries on the many unsaved I have witnessed here.
You (God) will that the saints should constitute a great capital of merits and love--with which every soul leaving this world will be able to pay for its salvation. You let sinner go their own way, you stir up the just to love you more--and you levy in advance the share of the poor people who only recognize you when they are dying. This is the way the world goes, and you show that your kingdom is not of this world. This is how saints grow. This is how the Redepmtion is accomplished.
to be continued...