Catholic Dictionary




Any inclination or disposition that, in human beings, becomes a desire. It is either an attraction to some specific good or an aversion from some specific evil. Natural tendencies are inborn and are really one's natural powers or faculties seeking expression. Supernatural tendencies are the graces divinely conferred to incline the will to the practice of virtue beyond the capacity of the native will, or of virtue known only on divine faith. Both natural and supernatural tendencies may be either conscious, also called elicited, when a person actually experiences his striving toward a good or away from an evil; or they can be spontaneous, without conscious awareness of the effort used in responding to a desire. (Etym. Latin tendentia; from tendere, to stretch, extend, direct oneself, tender.)