Dark Night of the Soul Test | Final 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. How many periods of trials must a soul pass through to finish going through the dark night, according to Book II, Chapter XXIV?

2. What step of the ladder feels like heaven on earth?

3. St. John's use of writing about a spiritual ladder as a path to unification with God is an example of what?

4. In what kind of way would the soul respond to God's love if the senses were not numbed?

5. The author says that the first step on the ladder is similar to the way a person acts when they are in the early stage of what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the experience of the dark night and the spiritual ladder called "secret," as explained by the author?

2. How does a purifying fire of love affect the souls of humans and angels in relation to a closeness with God as described by the author?

3. In Book II, Chapter XVIII, how does the soul move upon the spiritual ladder?

4. In Book II, Chapter XVI, why does the author say that it is necessary for man to learn to walk in the darkness?

5. As discussed in Book II, Chapter XXIV, when will the soul finally find peace and rest? Why?

6. How can a soul reach the sixth step on the secret ladder, as written in Book II, Chapter XX? What do men receive while on this step?

7. Why must the soul become numb to natural desires to receive God's strength and a union with God, according to Book II, Chapter XVI?

8. How can a soul reach the final step on the secret ladder? What happens on this step?

9. What does St. John explain about his poem, "Stanza of the Soul," in Book II, Chapter XXII?

10. In Book II, Chapter XI, what does the author say the soul will want to do after it has received the love for God?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Angels are mentioned throughout the text of Dark Night of the Soul and have specific qualities described by St. John. Please respond to the following with examples from the text that support your answer:

1) How are angels portrayed in the text with similar qualities as humans?

2) How does an angel become closer to God in spirituality?

3) What do both angels and humans experience which provides them with a commonality?

Essay Topic 2

The sensual, natural part of man must be put to rest for the soul to achieve unification with God's love, according to Dark Night of the Soul. Please answer the following with support from the text:

1) How does St. John compare the sensual part of a man to that of a house at rest?

2) Why is it required for a man to put the sensual part of himself to rest before being able to enter into unification with God?

3) How does the sensual part of a man make him a "prisoner"?

Essay Topic 3

The second night of darkness inflicts even greater pain upon the soul than the first night. Answer the following questions with supporting examples:

1) Why is the second night of darkness even more painful than the first?

2) What happens to the soul after periods of rest during this night? Why?

3) What examples from the Bible does St. John use to help illustrate the pain of the second night of darkness?

(see the answer keys)

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