Dark Night of the Soul Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to St. John, what happens when beginners try to build their own spirituality instead of waiting on God?

2. What is another name for avarice?

3. What does St. John say a man has that will impede the process of unifying with God?

4. In Book II, Chapter VII, what will souls not believe when experiencing a dark night with so much pain?

5. According to St. John, what replaces spiritual anxiety after passing through the dark night?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Book I, Chapter III, what are the symptoms of the sin of avarice?

2. How does God determine how severe a person's trial will be through the dark night?

3. What does St. John say causes the sin of wrath and how does a believer allow this to become a sin in his life?

4. How does the author compare the use of fire to the purification process a person experiences during the dark night?

5. In Book I, Chapter VI, why are new believers especially prone to the sin of gluttony?

6. How must a believer react when first realizing he has entered the dark night, according to Book I, Chapter X?

7. What are some of the benefits described in Book I, Chapter XIII of a soul that has been purified by the dark night?

8. In Book I, Chapter XII, what is the main benefit for the soul as it travels through the night of darkness?

9. Why does the author quote the sufferings of Job and Jeremias in Book II, Chapter VII?

10. In Book I, Chapter XI, what is the Christian's new desire upon being ignited with the spirit of love?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

St. John of the Cross was a very important person in the reformation of the Carmelite order of the Church and has been extremely influential in the history of the Christian faith. Please respond to the following with supporting facts:

1) How did St. John's life influence his faith?

2) How did St. John's faith influence his career?

3) What was St. John's purpose in writing Dark Night of the Soul?

Essay Topic 2

There are ten steps on the secret ladder of spirituality, as described by St. John in Dark Night of the Soul. The soul begins to climb this ladder after passing the dark night. Respond to the following questions with examples that support your answer:

1) From where does the imagery of the spiritual ladder come?

2) What are the ten steps on the ladder?

3) How does a soul reach the last step on the ladder? What does that say about the divine properties of the ladder?

Essay Topic 3

The concept of the dark night was originally expressed in St. John's poem "The Stanzas of the Soul" which he expounds upon in Dark Night of the Soul. Answer the following questions with support from the text:

1) How does "The Stanzas of the Soul" influence the way Dark Night of the Soul is written?

2) How does the imagery of the poem aid the reader in understanding Dark Night of the Soul?

3) How does the poetic imagery of the poem portray the dark night differently than the text in Dark Night of the Soul?

(see the answer keys)

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