"Creation was not so vast a work as redemption; for it is written of man and of all things that were made, 'He spake the word, and they were made.' (Psalm 148:5). But to redeem that creation which sprang into being at His word, how much He spake, what wonders He wrought, what hardships He endured, what shames He suffered! Therefore what reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits which He hath done unto me? In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation He gave me Himself, and by that gift restored to me the self that I had lost. Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself."
~ Bernard of Clairvaux (1090--1153), from On Loving God.