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 is St. John's purpose in using repetition throughout Dark Night of the Soul?

2. 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?

3. What is the term given to a spiritual experience beyond words?

4. Once a soul has received the love from God after the dark night, it will only want to do what, as described by St. John?

5. According to Book II, Chapter XIV, why does the soul speak these lines: "I went forth without being observed / My house being now at rest"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did God do with Job during the dark night that allowed the devil access to his life, as explained by the author?

2. In Book II, Chapter XXIII, what does the devil know about what is happening to a soul during the dark night and what does the devil do about it?

3. Why does the author say that people who have never passed through the dark night understand spiritual freedom?

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

5. How does St. John conclude his book in the final chapter?

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

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

8. What does St. John say happens to the soul after it has become enkindled and starts yearning for God? What would happen if the fire were to go away?

9. 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?

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

There are seven points that the author describes about the understanding of divine fire. This fire is special and consumes and purifies the soul at the same time. Use supporting examples to respond to the following:

1) List at least four understandings of divine fire that St. John describes in Dark Night of the Soul.

2) How is divine fire of the soul similar to a log burning in a real fire?

3) How does the comparison of divine fire to a real fire illustrate the concept of a soul burning in purgatory?

Essay Topic 2

The use of analogies within Dark Night of the Soul is abundant. St. John often re-describes his explanations by comparing the experience with an analogy. By using support from the text, respond with an essay to the following:

1) Name and define at least three analogies used within Dark Night of the Soul.

2) What is the author's purpose in using analogies within his writing? What does the reader gain from reading the analogies?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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