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. With what are the spirits in purgatory purged?

2. St. John describes the soul feeling as if it is losing ground when in reality it is just doing what?

3. How many steps are on the ladder of love?

4. In what is the soul enveloped before passing through the dark night?

5. What happens at the same time the soul is yearning for God in Book II, Chapter XI?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. In Book II, Chapter XV, why does the soul praise the darkness that causes so much pain?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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 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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