Take up the Cross (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Take up the Cross (New Poem by Polly Castor)
Take up Your Cross poem, Good Friday poem Cruciform #5 (acrylic) by Polly Castor

Take up the Cross

Jesus did not vicariously
shoulder and endure
the cross for us.
He was showing us
what we must also do,
and even said that
if we don’t carry
our own cross
we cannot be his disciple.

Material sense hates spirituality,
and tries to rebuke it and slay it
because it cannot perceive
the spiritual idea of God.

Jesus submitted to the worst
damage this hate could inflict
and proved it powerless.
His victory foreshadows our own.
The cross to him
was not a dramatic punishment
to cancel the sins of the world.
It was not at all about
substitutionary atonement.
It was simply necessary
to demonstrate
the nothingness of matter,
the irrelevance of the carnal mind,
and most importantly,
our grand imperishability
as ideas of God.
You continue,
innocent and untouched
regardless of piercing gashes
and murderous intent.

The hatred of the carnal mind
for spirituality still requires
us to overcome it today.
The cross you will be impaled upon
is your belief that
there is life in matter,
and that you are a mixture
of both matter and spirit.
This pervasive belief
Jesus showed us clearly
to be absolutely incorrect
and utterly impotent.

Your cross will
show up in whatever
form or situation
makes you believe
in the reality of
discord, error, or evil,
which makes you assume
that life is separate from God,
and that you could experience
something other than good.
This misconception or mistake
must be “taken up”–
grappled with–
and crucified.

Trounce it, annul it,
in favor of the perception
of yourself as God’s offspring.
Bear the excruciating pangs
each step of the rugged way
until material sense
is conquered.
Eagerly and cheerfully
resist all that opposes
the infinite spiritual idea
until you have banished
any belief of the material self.
Then go forth with a liberated heart
with eternity twinkling
before you and around you,
with every facet of
limitless excellence
sheltering and embracing you
on every side.

by Polly Castor

Cruciform #4 (acrylic) by Polly Castor


Cruciform #7 (acrylic) by Polly Castor


Cruciform #6 (acrylic) by Polly Castor
I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Kristie Haygood 11 months ago

    Thank you Polly. A beautiful reminder . . . . . . . 💜✝️💜

  2. Karen H Montanaro 11 months ago

    Thank you, Polly. I particularly love the 5th verse (powerful CS treatment!) and these lines from earlier:
    You continue,
    innocent and untouched
    regardless of piercing gashes
    and murderous intent.

  3. Barb+Urban 11 months ago

    Barbara Urban
    Very helpful and uplifting to me especially on this day. Thank you Polly for all your blogs.

  4. Cindy Schneider 11 months ago

    Beautiful! 🙌🏻🙏💕

  5. DeEtta "Dea" 8 months ago

    I love this poem and accompanying art. So perfect in every way. Thanks Polly for blessing us with your art and inspiration.

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