As you know, I love words and especially I love to learn the origin or history of words which is called etymology. To me words are music but when I know their history and meaning they do more than pass through my ears with their sound, or enter my mind with their meaning, they pass into my heart with their ardent intention. Learning meanings and history has enhanced my knowledge of the gospel-the Good News! That's why I can say that examining words has taught me more about the gospel than any other thing.
I am amazed how many gospel words that we use all come back to one Latin root, sanctus which means sacred. Sanctify, sanctification, consecrate, consecration, sacrament, saint, and sacrifice are all from that same Latin root word.
Sanctify means to free from sin so that you are sacred. Sanctification means the action or process of being sanctified. Consecrate means dedicated to a sacred purpose and consecration means the process of dedicating to a sacred purpose. In sacrament we find the root meaning of sacred combined with the suffix –ment which means “the concrete action or process of.” In other words the sacrament is the concrete action that makes us sacred. Sacrifice also means to make sacred, and a saint is a person who has been made sacred.
It is interesting that the gospel is all about making us into saints and the words we use in the gospel all point us in that direction. We do well to stop and think about the words!