The ultimate secret of Grace has never been solved by those who do not know that previous reincarnations contribute to it. Some men receive it only after years of burning aspiration and toil but others, like Francis of Assisi, receive it while unprepared and unaspiring. The ordinary candidate cannot afford to take any chance in this matter, cannot risk wasting a lifetime waiting for the unlikely visitation of Grace. He had better offer his all, dedicate his life, and surrender his loves to one all-consuming passion for the Overself, if he wants the power of Grace to flow into him. If he is unable to give himself so totally, let him do the next best thing, which is to find someone who has himself been granted the divine Grace and who has become inwardly transformed by it. Let him become such a man's disciple, and he will then have a better chance of Grace descending on him than he would have had if he walked alone.
-- Notebooks Category 18: The Reverential Life > Chapter 5: Grace > # 194