Seafood for Lenten season and beyond
First Class

Seafood for Lenten season and beyond

Fish for Lent

MEATLESS PLATES Fish for Lent is best paired not with a Chianti or a sauvignon blanc but with prayer. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent.

It’s that time of the year again to remind people of the difference between fasting and abstinence: fasting is limiting yourself to just one meal a day while abstinence is giving up meat.


For those who are strictly observing abstinence from meat, I hope that’s going well for you!


If you are running out of seafood options, don’t forget that you can run to practically any grocery store for packed seafood from Cold Storage! The only danger there is a moral one: with their range of options, you may just flip your abstinence into a celebration!

READ: FAQs: Fasting and abstinence during Lent

Their selections are an absolute treat: Chilean sea bass, Norwegian salmon, scallops and suahe. And you get to enjoy these at home. Best of all, you don’t even need to go to the wet market to source these because these are now available in over 150 groceries and supermarkets nationwide. You are also assured that what was packed had come from a company that advocates for sustainable seafood and practices responsible fishing.

You will also never get tired of your menu because Cold Storage now actually has hundreds of different products available. For seafood, they also have gindara or black cod, cream dory, frozen broiled eel (unagi), Hokkaido crabsticks, and even local frozen tilapia. You can have a different dish for each of the 40 days of Lent!

They actually also have steak. I wasn’t going to mention it because some practice abstinence—not just fasting—for the entire Lenten season. But apparently, Lent is not 40 but 46 days precisely so that you can still enjoy meat on Sundays! The reason is that as Sundays were days to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, Christians were forbidden to fast and do other forms of penance on those days.

So Sundays in Lent have never been, and still are not, part of the Lenten fast. Even if it’s Lent, you can thus have your steak and eat it, too—but only on Sundays!


Seafood for Lenten season and beyond

Nevertheless, excluding Sundays, the Lenten fast has been and remains exactly 40 days. And you should make the most of this period of penitential preparation because although it’s a form of self-denial, it is also a great way to feed your soul.

But it is only good for your soul if you take it seriously, i.e. don’t just hold off from eating a burger or do intermittent fasting—that’s just a diet or a lifestyle change.

To really feed your soul, you need to make it spiritual. Step up to making it a form of penance by which you reconcile yourself with the Lord. Make it an act of contrition for your wrongdoings.

Make your self-denial a declaration of your intention to turn away from sin and turn back to God. That’s why it must be accompanied by prayer.

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As Pope Francis said in his Lenten message this year, “It is time to act, and in Lent, to act also means to pause. To pause in prayer, in order to receive the word of God, to pause like the Samaritan in the presence of a wounded brother or sister. Love of God and love of neighbor are one love … For this reason, prayer, almsgiving and fasting are not three unrelated acts, but a single movement of openness and self-emptying, in which we cast out the idols that weigh us down, the attachments that imprison us. Then the atrophied and isolated heart will revive. Slow down then and pause!”

As we pause for Lent, let us also remember: fish for Lent is best paired not with a Chianti or a sauvignon blanc but with prayer. This pairing may not make you full but certainly you will be filled!

TAGS: first class, Fish, Lent

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