There is a prayer of blessing used on Ash Wednesday which asks the Lord to bestow on us a “spirit of compunction.” Since that’s not a word used in my daily vocabulary, I needed to look it up. It means, “a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain.” Synonyms would be contrition, remorse, sorrow for sin.
I hear the spirit of compunction when hearing confessions. People express their remorse for sins they have committed. I myself know the frustration of trying but never seeming to improve in patience and the other virtues. It makes me sad.
But I have come to see what a great blessing this compunction is because this sadness pushes us to change. Without compunction, we probably would never change because we would feel no need or desire to change. So we ask for it, pray for it. Only if the seed falls to the ground & dies does it bear much fruit.