It was less easy to remake me than to make me... But he who made me by a single word, in remaking me had to speak many words, work miracles, suffer hardships,... and even unjust treatment... In his first work he gave me myself; in his second work he gave me himself. When he gave me himself, he gave me back myself. Given, and regiven, I owe myself [to God] twice over. Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century French monk)
Profundity hardly needs commentary. I simply would add that being obliged to God is not a bad deal. “Obliged” is a word that came to us from the Latin, via French. Its root means to be bound to, and is the same root from which we get our word “ligament.” To be obliged to God twice over is to be bound to life itself.
We love to fancy ourselves as fully independent, masters of our own fate, bound to no one. That fancy was first suggested to humanity by a serpent, and it led to our unmaking.
The same serpent still whispers. Far better is it to attune our ears to the One to whom we’re now obliged twice over. For only in taking up that obligation are we finally free.