[This is piece of general, generic, passive-aggression. If it doesn’t apply to you, then please pass along the bus…]

In the last couple of months I have found myself going out of my way to provide things for people: research, a document, a reference, a copy of a sermon, a strategy for implementing a pastoral initiative in a parish. All of these things have been works of supererogation– by that I mean, none of them have been part of my responsibilities for the cure of souls in this parish, none of them have been part of the pastoral care of the people of God entrusted to me. Rather, they have been (I thought) thoughtful and helpful actions for colleagues and friends (sometimes very loosely defined).

In almost every instance, the piece of research, document, reference, sermon copy or strategy has disappeared into the ether or the mawl of the Postal system with nary a sign that it had either: reached its destination, or: proved to be helpful. In other words, the research, document, reference &c was sent in hope and received in silence.

I had thought to contact everyone of my respondents directly, to ask if they had received the research, document, reference &c, and whether or not it was just because they had been trapped under a large fridge since receiving it that prevented them from acknowledging receipt, or even thanking me for it. Then I thought that was a frightful piece of passive-aggression, and that, really, I could do better than that.

So, in place of individual passive-aggression here is a monumental, generic piece of passive-aggression.

If you have received from me, in the last six months or so, a piece of research, a document, a reference, a copy of a sermon, a strategy for implementing a pastoral initiative in a parish, then: