In the Monastery Icons thread, somebody posted a link to Holy Trinity Icon Studio which I found to have very nice icons, so I was looking on their site. I found my favorite Mary icon there, this one:
I have seen this before and thought it was the Umilenie or Tenderness icon that is supposed to represent Mary being humble at the time of her Fiat, and is one of the Theotokos icons not showing her with Jesus. (Corrected as Vico listed a number of other icons not showing her with Jesus, apparently this isn’t as rare as I was led to believe from whatever I read.) Also the favorite icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov.
However, they call the icon (and the other variations of Mary in the same pose) “Compunction”. I wasn’t sure how that fit in with Mary at the time of her Fiat. The definitions of the word “Compunction” are as follows (quoted from online dictionaries):
a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad.
an uneasy feeling about the rightness of what one is doing or going to do.
a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed)
What does this have to do with the icon of Mary at the time of her Fiat? I can’t imagine Mary having an uneasy feeling at that point (the Angel had just told her “be not afraid”), nor did Mary ever have guilt, moral scruples, deep regret since she did not sin. I also didn’t get the impression that this icon was meant to inspire us to guilt or deep regret unless of course we have sinned and in that case any icon could so inspire us.
Can someone knowledgeable please explain why it’s called “Compunction”?