40 Days’ David Bereit given Law of Life Achievement Award for dedication to pro-life cause
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life movement is the world's last hope, but it also must continue to grow in faith, says the winner of a prestigious pro-life award.
"What we are doing is truly, I believe, the last great hope for our beloved America and the hope for the rest of the world," stated 40 Days for Life national director David Bereit at last week's 2016 Law of Life Summit.
Bereit, the recipient of this year's Law of Life Achievement Award, chosen by peers in the pro-life movement and awarded to those who have suffered in service of the cause, also said the current inroads being made in the pro-life movement are the beginning of the end to abortion.
The Law of Life Achievement Award is presented the day before the March for Life at the Law of Life Summit, which gathers pro-life leaders, activists, and students in Washington, D.C. to collaborate and establish goals for defending human life via law and the media, and also to cultivate future pro-life leadership.
The achievement award consists of a framed replica of the nail that crucified Christ through His feet, made by Law of Life Summit organizer Royce Hood's grandfather, and presented again this year by LifeSiteNews co-founder and editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen.
"This year's recipient is someone who has given of himself totally, who does it without reserve ... who loves the Lord Jesus without reserve," Westen stated before Bereit was named.
In addition to being a great leader, there's a generosity factor, Westen continued, that can happen only with someone given to Christ.
"There is a generosity that goes beyond Oh, I'm suffering here, I'm just going to keep going anyway into, almost a total selflessness," he said of Bereit, "some of which I have never, ever seen before, even in this wonderful pro-life movement."
"He's a person who will go out there and raise funds for other groups that aren't his own," Westen told the Summit crowd. "And in the pro-life movement, that's a hard thing to do."
An emotional Bereit took the stage upon being named and said the award symbol of the crucifixion nail tells the whole story.
"Because none of what any of us are a part of would have fruit were it not for a relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ, and for what he did on the cross for each and every one if us," he said. "That's why we have life and have it abundantly, and that's why we are called to protect life in every stage."
The pro-life movement is truly one of sacrifice and of selflessness, he said, "and it's a movement of people who love our Lord, and are willing to carry their cross."
Bereit credited his wife and children, the local 40 Days for Life leaders across the country and the world, and all "the people who just step out in faith."
He reflected on the passage from Matthew about faith the size of a mustard seed that can move mountains. But, he said, what struck him is what comes before, where the apostles ask Christ why they couldn't cast out the demon from the little boy, and his reply is because of your little faith.
Bereit said the message to all of us after 43 years of Roe v. Wade is the question of "why has this demonic influence not been cast out?"
"And I believe it's because we need to have greater faith," he told the crowd. "And when we have that faith, the size of a tiny mustard seed, mountains will move."
Bereit said we are beginning to see that.
"And I believe what we're witnessing here in the states truly is the beginning of the end of abortion," he exclaimed to enthusiastic applause.
The 40 Days for Life leader explained the critical nature of the pro-life movement and the importance of its advocates, recounting how the great civilizations that have fallen in history met their demise because of moral factors.
Bereit mentioned "decrease irreligious beliefs and religious practices, the increase in immorality and sexual chaos, the breakdown of the family and the devaluing of human life. And those are the factors we're facing in our society right now that we must confront with faith; otherwise, those mountains will not move in the right direction."
"And when you look at all of those right now, we are losing on every front but for one," he said, "and that is the cause of life."
People across the world have shared with him that it is the pro-life movement in the United States that gives them hope to overcome their great pro-life challenges.
"So my message to you is the message I have to tell myself every day when it gets tough," Bereit concluded. "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Prior recipients of the Law of Life Achievement Award include Canadian pro-life heroine Mary Wagner and pro-life lawyer Thomas Brejcha of the Thomas More Society and Michael Hichborn, previously of American Life League and current president of the Lepanto Institute. Westen was honored in 2013 with the inaugural award.