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. What object represents the passions of the natural man, according to Book II, Chapter XIV?

2. What does the soul do on the second step of the ladder of love, according to Book II, Chapter XIX?

3. In what form is the image of the spiritual ladder first found in the Bible?

4. In Book II, Chapter XXIII, what does the devil give the believer that stays with him disturbing the soul for a long period of time?

5. What happens to human senses, according to the author, when a human is in the darkness?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the soul speak of being happy by using the symbolism of a house in Book II, Chapter XIV?

2. Why does a soul have to wear a disguise as it ascends the secret ladder?

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

4. How is this unification achieved with God, according to Book II, Chapter XXIV?

5. 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?

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

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

8. How does St. John describe the trail that God walks as He leads the soul on its journey through the darkness?

9. In Book II, Chapter XXI, what are the colors of the disguise of the soul on the secret ladder, and what do they represent?

10. In Book II, Chapter XII, how does the desire of God influence understanding and love on a believer passing through the dark night?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The knowledge and the experience of the dark night, as well as the ladder of spirituality, are considered secret. These occurrences are even defined as indescribable. With supporting examples, answer the following:

1) Why are the experiences of the dark night and the ladder of spirituality labeled as secret?

2) How does a person learn of the secret things from God? How does God leave no trail of his teachings?

3) Why are there no words to describe the learning the soul gains after passing through the dark night?

Essay Topic 2

The light of divine illumination comes only after a soul has experienced the dark night. St. John explains divine light by referencing the rays of sunlight. Respond to the following with supporting examples:

1) What is divine light?

2) Explain how divine light acts similarly to sunlight.

3) Why does divine light only illuminate within a soul that has passed through the dark night?

Essay Topic 3

St. John describes two different types of imperfections that proficient Christians are troubled by; these must be removed during the dark night. Using examples from the text, respond to the following questions:

1) What are the two types of imperfections a proficient Christian suffers from?

2) Which imperfection is disastrous for the soul and leaves the soul open to evil influence?

3) Which imperfection can be removed from the spirit during the dark night? Why must it be removed before emerging from the dark night?

(see the answer keys)

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