Actor Mark Wahlberg spoke about his faith during a Wednesday interview on “Today.” The A-list actor and producer recently signed on as guest narrator for the Catholic prayer app “Hallow.”
Catholics recognize Wednesday (Feb. 22 this year) as “Ash Wednesday.” The day launches a 40-day countdown to “Good Friday”; Christians recognize “Good Friday” as the day Jesus was crucified. The 40-day period is known as “Lent,” a season of prayer, repentance and spiritual reflection.
During the interview, Wahlberg told host Savannah Guthrie:
“[Faith] it’s everything, it’s afforded me so many things. … God didn’t come to save the saints, He came to save the sinners. … We want to be better versions of ourselves, and through focusing my faith, it’s allowed me to do that.”
Wahlberg noted that he strives to be a good witness and person of faith, but is respectful of others who have different views.
“It’s a balance. I don’t wanna jam it down anybody’s throat,” Wahlberg said. “But I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin. You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people.”
The actor added: “I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so you know it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
The “Father Stu” actor appeared on the “Today” show with ash (in the shape of a cross) on his forehead — a sign he had attended mass that morning and was recognizing the season of Lent. Wahlberg used the interview to make people aware of “Hallow,” the Catholic prayer app, and his “Pray 40-Day Lent Challenge.”
Wahlberg, 51, spoke about the value of faith, prayer and proper focus:
“God knows the things that he wants you to detach from … we all know those things that … make us feel guilty, don’t make us feel as good as we should. So being able to detach from those things and focus on … good habits as opposed to bad habits … just challenging people to be better versions of themselves.”
Wahlberg also noted that discipline and self-control are integral to a healthy spiritual walk.
“Discipline has always been important for me in life. Once I started getting into movies and transitioned from music, I realized I needed a lot of discipline in my life. And that discipline has afforded me so many other things.”
“I want to share that with people,” Wahlberg added. “So whether that’s with fasting … detaching from other things and just spending more time with God in prayer or in thoughtful reflection, and those things are important.”
Wahlberg left Hollywood in November; he moved his wife and four children to Nevada to provide a “better life” for his family. The actor is happily married (13 years) to Rhea Durham.
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