National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

The Way We Were — and Still Are

BY The Editors

January 25-31, 2009 Issue | Posted 1/16/09 at 11:33 AM


More than a millennium and a half ago, St. Augustine of Hippo considered the mysterious phenomenon of human memory — and saw in it a pointer to the existence of God. A few months ago, Xinyue Zhou of Sun Yat-Sen University in China studied the nature of nostalgic thoughts and feelings — and found in it an indication of sound mental health. Writing about the study in a recent issue of Newsweek, psychologist Wray Herbert said indulging in nostalgic daydreaming may be “a coping strategy we use to protect ourselves against the existential fear of being alone.” Or maybe it’s a loving nudge to remind us that we’re not alone.