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January 7, 2014

Moving Forward

by carrollministry
On the Buffalo Jump, Browning, MT

On the Buffalo Jump, Browning, MT

A cold Sunday morning at 6:45 AM six brave souls braved the snowstorm to head north to Browning Montana. We loaded up the cars and headed into Borromeo dorm for a quick prayer to start our headlights trip. Well we drove, the roads were ok, some parts were bad, but the best part was the views, rolling hills, mountains painted purple by the sunrise. It was pretty neat. A reoccurring theme in our drive was circles. Dan loves circles; well that’s what I deduced by our drive up. In Choteau, we circled the round about two times for good measure. Into the wrong drive way while trying to find where we are staying, another circle. Even trying to find a place to hike! As much as I joke about Dan’s love of circles, we gleamed some really cool spiritual insights from it. Even though we were moving towards our goal, sometimes we would get stuck going in circles at a roundabout, or make a wrong turn and have to backtrack onto the right path, often in our spiritual life we do the same. Get hung up, or go down the wrong path. I really liked this thought at the end of the day. So we finally arrive and are shown our cabin.
After the usual claiming of a bunk and getting settled in, we decided to go hike up a buffalo jump nearby. So we hopped into the cars and headed down the road, passed where we need to stop and drive in a circle again. We hiked to the base, and in front of us are these beautiful cliffs partly covered in snow. We couldn’t find a definite trail to the top so we decided to forge our own way. It was slippery on the way up and down but man was the view from the top amazing! Rolling hills to the east and to the west, the grandiose view of the Bob Marshall and Glacier national Park. Though these views were awe-inspiring. The little things were just as amazing. Kevin pointed out the way the wind had moved the snow into a pattern reminiscent of sand dunes. Alex commented on frost looking like feathers off of a bush. We saw God in the big things and in the little things today. On the top of the buffalo jump we related how this sacred ground for Native Americans is similar to the sacredness of Mass, and in some sense Christ’s sacrifice.
When we first arrived we attended Mass at the Little Flower Parish, Mass was special because we received a blessing from the congregation. They all turned, laid hands on us and sang, which reminded me of the way Carroll folks bless people. At the buffalo Jump we reflected on the symbol of the buffalo, how it is the way the Blackfeet received life, the buffalo were driven over the cliffs to death. A sacrifice so the Blackfeet Tribe could receive nourishment and life. Like Christ’s sacrifice so we may have eternal life and have the grace to live life to the full here on earth.
Overall today has been a blessing. We got to experience the joy of Mass in a loving community, and see God in his creation. The weather was beautiful and we are all excited to see what God has in store for us!

Peace,
Jared Howes

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