I have looked at the ActionSupport class and there does not appear to be any way to get to the Application Context. for objects on the Application Context. Would it be a violation of best practices to access the Application Context from an action?
If you use the Servlet Config Interceptor you can set up an application Map that can be accessed by all of your action classes that implement ApplicationAware. The same interceptor should also allow you to implement ServletContextAware interface to give you access to the servlet context if thats what you need.