In the movie Murder on the Orient Express, Pilar, played by Penelope Cruz, seemed to be a woman who chose to follow the righteous ways because she felt guilt from something she couldn't do in the past.
What happened that she felt guilty about?
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Pilar Estravados was the daughter's nanny the night that she was kidnapped. Pilar feels guilty that she was unable to protect the children, especially since she was either drunk or on some form of drugs (I forget if it's specified in the movie or up for interpretation) that night. She was passed out so heavily that, when the kidnapper broke in, she didn't stir at all. To her, the girl was under her ward and she failed her.
This guilt is what drove her to become a woman of god, casting aside sins of the flesh and drugs and alcohol.