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. In Dark Night of the Soul, the spirit thirsts for love more than the soul thirsts because the spirit realizes what?

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

3. In Book II, Chapter XII, what--more than understanding--will be imparted to the soul because of the will of God?

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

5. St. John writes that souls on earth are purged with the fire of what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What is the author discussing in the second stanza of his poem from the prologue that is further explained in Book II, Chapter XV?

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

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

9. In Book II, Chapter XIX, what happens on the first three steps of love on the secret ladder?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are signs that a person's soul is starting to enter the dark night; however these signs are sometimes confused with a soul that is suffering from a sinful existence. Answer the following questions with supporting examples:

1) What are the symptoms a person's soul experiences when beginning to enter into the dark night?

2) What are some of the signs a person is suffering from a sinful existence and not really entering into the dark night?

3) How many people truly enter the dark night? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The length of the dark night of spirituality and how much pain a soul has to endure is different for every person. Using supporting examples, please respond with an essay to the following:

1) Why does the duration of the dark night and the amount of pain experienced by a soul vary from person to person?

2) Who has the final say in the duration and intensity of the dark night?

3) What is the fate of a soul who is chosen to have extremely intense darkness?

(see the answer keys)

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