I love Mark Wahlberg! But, let’s be honest… who doesn’t?
Mark Wahlberg started out as a model and then went on to become the rockin’ awesome rapper Mark-y-Mark. As the years went on, Mark began acting and producing, and found massive success in the film industry. Throughout the years, there is one thing that remained constant, and I would argue that it’s the secret to his success – his Catholic faith.
“Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life,” Wahlberg said in an interview with the Catholic Herald in the U.K. He continued,
“Once I focused on my faith wonderful things started happening for me. And I don’t mean professionally – that’s not what it’s about. These days, I’ll be in church and people will come up to me and say: ‘Do you mind if I sit and pray with you?’ And they’ll start praying and it’ll turn out they’re praying for their new movie to be a success or whatever, and I’m like, this is not what I come here for. For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”
Wahlberg’s whole life changed when he centered his life on prayer and on his faith. He stayed focused on what is most important in life, and his career followed on that path. Wahlberg spoke of his priorities in life saying,
“Being a good actor or a good producer: that’s not going to help me sleep at night or get me into heaven. The most important thing from where I sit is to be a good father, a good husband, and a good human being – a man who helps his fellow man and raises his kids to be good human beings too. Every single aspect of my family life is joy”
Remember, this is coming from a really successful actor!
But, how does he stay so focused and centered in Hollywood, when so many around him are having breakdowns and families are falling apart? I think it goes back to the faith.
Mark’s spiritual director is a man named Father Flavin. Father Flavin is a parish priest that has known Wahlberg for years, and helped lead him from high-school dropout and ex-con, to the successful life he leads today – in his career and his family life. “He’s been in my life since I was 13,” Wahlberg said of Flavin. “He married me and my wife and baptized all my children.” It’s also rumored that Fr. Flavin helps lead and guide Wahlberg in his movie choices, to “honor his religious roots” in the roles he chooses to play.
(Note: The fact that Wahlberg has chosen some roles that some may find issue with, just shows his humanity. We have all made choices that we regret, but we must continue to strive to walk on the path to holiness and rise above our faults.)
One of the most powerful things about Wahlberg is his daily faith life. He begins every day in prayer at a local Catholic Church, wherever he is. Even if he can’t make it to daily Mass, he stops by the Church for a few minutes at the beginning of each day, to spend some quality with Jesus.
“The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God,” Wahlberg said. “If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day.”
Mark Wahlberg – his life and his faith – are a witness to Hollywood and to the rest of the world. And his faith has led him to much of the success that he has had and led him through film choices and more, and that is another testament to the celebrities in Hollywood. If you keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, He will help lead and guide you through the crazy world that we live in.
Keep the faith… always.