Compunction

Every day with tears and sighs confess your past sin to God in prayer. RB 4:57

John Cassian, about a century before Benedict, had a profound influence on Benedict. In his Conferences, John speaks of two types of “compunction” of heart. The first is a sense of “joy” which wells up in the heart and helps one to become aware of the presence of God often by a sudden illumination of goodness, beauty, kindness or grace. The second arises from a deep awareness of my humanness and the overwhelming gift of God's love no matter. For both John and Benedict there may be sighs of repentance and tears of joy. Deep authentic silence is a hallowed place for compunction of heart.