Check out this LA Times article on a group of monks in California who are struggling to align a modern financial reality with an ancient way of life.
The Catholic monks of the New Camaldoli Hermitage have lived a world apart in the inspirational majesty of Big Sur for half a century. They know well the power of prayer and contemplation.
Money management is another matter.
Never did they imagine their most vexing problem would be finding a way to close a $300,000-a-year budget deficit. Or reviving a flagging fruitcake business that has helped support them for decades.
The monks are like countless American families struggling through hard times. They're working harder but digging into dwindling savings to make ends meet. Their home is paid for, but repairs are on hold indefinitely. The viability of their Thoreau-like existence is in doubt.
"I'll be honest: I don't understand finances at all," said Father Raniero Hoffman, the hermitage's prior for the last dozen years. "Our whole way of life is beyond what society today would say is practical."
They came to the mountaintop seeking escape from the distractions of society. They found that some distractions cannot be avoided.