I read the following prayer to the students as we began our school-wide day of service earlier this month. It emphasizes the importance of a proper attitude and disposition toward serving others.
It fits in well with the spirit and nature of Lent – thinking outside of ourselves, sacrifice, and selflessness:
Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may receive your help, but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver. – St. John Chrysostom